Blake Shinn’s belief that Pornichet can develop into one of the best horses in the country will be put to the test when the horse resumes at Randwick.
Blake Shinn turned down the mount on Warwick Stakes favourite First Seal to partner Pornichet because he regards the Gai Waterhouse-trained horse as racing’s next potential superstar.
Shinn was the regular rider of First Seal throughout her three-year-old season and admits it was a tough call to forego the first-up mount on her at Randwick.
But such is his opinion of Pornichet, who he partnered to victory in the Group One Doomben Cup during the winter, he has opted to stick with the horse with a long-term view to the Cox Plate.
“It was a very tough decision,” Shinn said.
“I feel heading towards the Cox Plate, Pornichet could be the next weight-for-age star of Australian racing and I wanted to give him that chance to prove himself.
“He’s the horse I’m most excited about riding this carnival.”
Pornichet hasn’t started since his Doomben Cup win but Shinn has been pleased with his two barrier trials heading into Saturday.
While the five-year-old’s best form is over middle distances, Shinn expects Pornichet to perform well on Saturday.
“I think he will get better as he gets into this prep and gets out to longer distances,” Shinn said.
“But I expect him to sprint well fresh and show us on Saturday that he’s come back in outstanding order.”
Pornichet is one of 14 acceptors for the Group Two Warwick Stakes (1400m) which includes six runners from the Chris Waller yard.
The premier trainer’s team is headed by Doncaster Mile winner Kermadec who makes his seasonal return with Glen Boss travelling from Melbourne for the ride.
With Shinn aboard Pornichet, Tommy Berry has picked up the mount on First Seal who has opened a $2.80 favourite.
Trainer John Thompson said the mare was in great order and had matured since the autumn when she was runner-up in the Group One Coolmore Classic.
“Her two trials have been nice without asking her to really bottom out,” Thompson said.
“She has kept improving through each trial, she’s drawn a nice barrier and she should get a good run.”
The Warwick Stakes is one of five black-type races at Randwick along with the Up And Coming Stakes which has attracted several Golden Rose hopefuls including Sebring Sun who is unbeaten in two starts this campaign.