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Shinn's rare Doomben visit snapped up by Dunn

Tue 25 June 2024

By Glenn Davis

The Matthew Dunn stable is hoping to capitalise on a rare midweek visit from champion Victorian jockey Blake Shinn at Doomben on Wednesday.

Shinn has been booked for two of Dunn’s starters after the multiple Group 1-winning jockey decided to head north to ride the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Matisse in the QTIS Two-Year-Old Maiden Plate.

Matisse has started three times for two placings but has not raced since finishing seventh in the Group 1 Blue Diamond at Caulfield in February.

Shinn’s rides for Dunn are aboard North Of Eli in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap over 1200 metres and the Glowlight in the Maiden Handicap over the same distance.

“I was lucky enough to get Blake once I heard he was coming up to ride one for the Freedmans in the two-year-old,” Dunn said. 

Dunn has a big opinion of North Of Eli.

North Of Eli has drawn perfectly in barrier one and has finished second at his past two starts on heavy tracks at his home track at Murwillumbah.

The son of Headwater was beaten one length by the Wayne Nugent-trained Mootessa in a 1200 metre Benchmark race at his last appearance on June 10.

“North Of Eli is racing well but he’s taken a long time and he’s still learning what it’s all about,” Dunn said.

“All his races have been strong and he should have won last start.

“I think he’ll make a 1400 metre horse later on and he might measure up to the Country Championships in Sydney.”

Shinn has been in great form during the Queensland Racing Carnival winning last month’s Group 1 Doomben Cup on Bois D’Argent and the Group 1 Queensland Derby on Warmonger at Eagle Farm earlier this month.

Shinn’s win on Warmonger was his first in a Derby after finishing close seconds in the Hong Kong and Australian Derbies.

Shinn has won 29 Group 1s including his biggest in the 2008 Melbourne Cup on the late Bart Cummings-trained Viewed as well as four in Hong Kong and one in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, the QTIS Three-Year-Old race on Wednesday also features a three-pronged attack from the Annabel Neasham stable who saddles up Addriel, Jukebox In Siberia and Rimbaud.

Neasham’s Brisbane stable manager Todd Pollard has given punters a strong lead with his preference for Rimbaud who is having his third start this campaign while his two stable mates are resuming.

Rimbaud won first run back from a break when making his Brisbane debut at Ipswich in the middle of May.

He then stepped up to the city midweek's finishing second to the Tony Gollan-trained Invincible Shield in a 1200 metre Benchmark race at Doomben on June 12.

“Rimbaud is probably the pick of ours as he’s got fitness on his side whereas the others are resuming,” Pollard said.