Blake Shinn will be out of action until the Sha Tin meeting on June 19 having become the second Hong Kong jockey after Victor Wong Chun to catch Covid-19.
Shinn has missed the past two meetings because of a suspension that was also set to sideline him for Wednesday night’s Happy Valley card.
After testing positive, the Australian must undergo a minimum of seven days of self-isolation and is now also unavailable for Sunday’s Sha Tin fixture, extending his absence from the saddle to four meetings.
With no Happy Valley fixture next week because of the Royal Ascot showcase, Shinn finds himself sidelined for a full three weeks.
While Shinn was present at trackwork on Tuesday morning before receiving news of his positive test, Jockey Club executive Bill Nader confirmed no other jockeys or trainers have been affected as yet.
“Our rigorous testing regime has paid dividends and continues to pay dividends,” Nader said. “He had limited contact this morning, we’ll continue to trace, but at this point in terms of trainers and jockeys everyone else is OK.”
Five jockeys stood down after Wong becomes first HK rider to catch Covid
It continues a roller-coaster season for Shinn, who has experienced the highest of highs and also some testing lows.
The 34-year-old has three Group One wins to his name this season, taking out the Hong Kong Sprint aboard Sky Field and the Gold Cup and Champions & Chater Cup with the mighty Russian Emperor on his way to racking up a personal-best Hong Kong haul of 36 winners so far this season.
But Shinn will depart the city when the term ends after months of suffocating lockdowns weighed heavily on his mental health and prompted him to call time on his stay.