Racing NSW Grills Blake Shinn Over Suspicious Punting Patterns
Blake Shinn is in the news once again, although this time under far less favourable circumstances.
Back in mid-July we reported on Shinn’s visit to the United States (the country, not the horse) to do some riding and build some connections in the pursuit of a ride in either the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes or the Belmont Stakes.
His reasoning is sound; so long as jockeys in America enjoy the same big paychecks that have made the U.S. the dreamed of destination for basketball and gridiron athletes, but that is neither here or there at the moment.
Shinn was recently before the stewards for an inquiry into his tactics and whether he may have been in cahoots with apprentice jockey Andrew Adkins in the running of a Benchmark 71 Handicap on November 25.
The stewards felt that Shinn’s horse for that race was, “a significant drifter,” while “a series of bets of interest to stewards were placed on Star Sensation.
Given a list of punters by the stewards, Adkins told the inquisitors that he did not know any of the names on the list. Shinn, however, answered in the affirmative.
The stewards also wanted to know if Shinn and Adkins had any association outside racing, but both denied being anything other than casual acquaintances.
Adkins and his boss Ron Quinton were able to leave the meeting, but Shinn went before media cameras for the better part of an hour.
The impetus behind the inquiry was evidence given by Racing NSW investigator Nathan Hayward and racing analyst Mitchell Reid.
Chief Steward Marc Van Gestel is seeking financial and communication records from Shinn.
According to Van Gestel, “Nathan (Hayward) provided evidence relative to intelligence that Racing NSW receives from time to time and that intelligence made up part of our questions today.We’ve asked for Blake Shinn to provide us with his financial and communication records.“The inquiry has been adjourned to allow stewards can look at financial and communication records.”
Tread carefully, Mr. Shinn, or the next time you travel to the U.S., it might be with Racing NSW stewards hot on your trail and posting “Wanted – Reward” posters at American dirt tracks.