Blake Shinn stands front and Centre for close friend Peter Robl
BLAKE Shinn sent out an ominous tip for the Bernborough Handicap when he locked himself into the Centre Pivot ride 12 days ago.
The Melbourne Cup-winning jockey, who has a 25 per cent strike rate in Queensland this year, turned his back on a full book of rides at Rosehill to team with Centre Pivot on Saturday.
It was clear even before the home turn he made the right call.
Shinn is the closest of friends with retired jockey Peter Robl, who is set to take over the training of Centre Pivot and another 17 Segenhoe Stud owned horses from Magic Millions Day.
“This is very special for me to win for Peter today,” Shinn said.
“Even though it’s not official yet, I think this is the start of something big for him.”
Robl is stable foreman for Centre Pivot’s trainer John Sargent but has attained boxes at Randwick and has been given the blessing of Segenhoe boss Kevin Maloney to take over his NSW-based racing team.
“The hours are longer, the pay is less, but the rewards are greater,” said Robl, a multiple Group 1 winner, of his forced transfer to training after a serious fall ended his riding career last year.
“Blake galloped this horse in blinkers a week and a half ago and said straight away he was coming here to ride him.
“That’s how good he went. I think he’s the best rider in Australia so when he gives up nine rides at Rosehill you know the horse is going to be hard to beat.
“The first two runs this prep he was on rain affected tracks but this was perfect today and the blinkers added the extra dimension. John Sargent has done a great job with him and hopefully I can continue that going forward.”
Centre Pivot’s main aim in Queensland this summer is the Magic Millions Trophy (1800m).
“If he gets there in three weeks he will be something to beat,” Robl said.
Blake Shinn launches Centre Pivot (third from left) in the home straight at Doomben. Picture: Supplied
Shinn will also partner a number of other Segenhoe horses on Magic Millions Day, in addition to having the ride on Peter and Paul Snowden’s 2YO Classic hotpot Capitalist.
“This is a nice way to start the carnival up here and hopefully it can continue onto Magic Millions day,” Shinn said.
“This is a stepping stone along the way. What’s happened today is that Peter has shown he’s capable of getting a horse to peak at the right time.”
Tye Angland, an earlier Origin series winner on Profiler, turned in the ride of the day to land Glendara a winner of the final event.
Glendara drew terribly but Angland was able to have him fourth, just one off the fence soon after the start.
Angland returns for the Origin finale next week, where he will be out to defend the lead NSW has opened up over the first six heats in the series.