Shinn back at Sandown on Wednesday
Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Blake Shinn is excited about resuming his career after a long absence due to a disqualification over a betting scandal and a broken leg.
Shinn will have his first ride back at Sandown next Wednesday after serving a 12-month ban imposed by Racing NSW stewards in November last year.
The jockey, who rode Viewed to a narrow victory over Bauer in the 2008 Melbourne Cup, was supposed to ride Precedence in last year’s Cup but broke a fibula and suffered nerve damage when his mount Zauberin fell in the 2800m event earlier in the day.
He has spent much of his time at his family’s Kilmore base and will have his first ride at Sandown aboard Distillery, prepared by his stepfather Lee Hope and stepbrother Shannon Hope.
“It’s an exciting time. I’ve waited for a long time for this day to come,” Shinn told Radio Sport National.
“I’m as fit as I can be, my weight is excellent. I’ve worked very hard to get myself right.
“I’m walking around at about 54.5kg and I’m very healthy.”
Shinn said he had had a few problems with the leg and came down from Sydney to get himself right and build up from there.
He said he’d faced up to his gambling issues and had overcome them through great support from his family, his psychologist and reformed gambler David Swartz.
“It’s probably been one of the hardest times of my life being away from something that I love and obviously I’ve had to face up to some issues that I did have with gambling,” he said.
“But I feel the time I’ve had away from the track has made me a much better person and made me grow up and I feel I’m going to be a much better rider for the time I’ve had away.”
Shinn said his aim was to start off slowly, have a few rides for his family and get his eye in before returning to Sydney in early January.