A cool, calm and collected Blake Shinn delivered arguably one of the performances of the season aboard Russian Emperor – confidently saving ground aboard the five-year-old before steering him to his first win in Hong Kong.

“I really believed that this was our opportunity, all the stars aligned today with the rain and everything just went to plan,” Shinn said.

Stepping away cleanly from gate nine, Shinn angled Russian Emperor to the rear of the field – settling on the fence, side-by-side with Golden Sixty.

And upon turning for home, the Melbourne Cup-winning rider peeled his mount out before kicking clear to a comfortable four and a quarter length success.

Speaking of pre-race discussions, Douglas Whyte revealed: “I had a few different ideas, few different views. In the parade ring, he (Blake Shinn) said to me ‘Do you mind if I ride the rail?’ And I said ‘You did that last time, you cut the corner and went in. Why would you do anything different? If you’ve got the horse underneath you, don’t come out?

“It was the winning move. When you’re riding with this kind of confidence in these kind of races, that’s what you want. The ride made the difference.”

The win was Shinn’s second at the top-level this season after Sky Field prevailed in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) last December at Sha Tin.

“Look, he’s a really talented horse and he’s been running really well. Full credit to Douglas, he’s figured out how to prep him for the big days and the elite level and that’s what great trainers do – they know how to peak them on the big days and Douglas has done that again today,” Shinn said.

Shinn, 34, now boasts 55 wins in Hong Kong – including 16 this term.

“It’s just really satisfying to get the result on the horse and I really thank Douglas for keeping me on him because four starts ago now, we were luckless, running fifth and I rang Douglas after the race and asked him to keep me on the horse and he did and big thanks to the owner for sticking by me and this is just reward for everyone involved today,” Shinn said.

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