SHANE DYE may well have been "the master of his own universe" when leaving the Australian racing scene eight years ago, but much has changed. The controversial one-time jockey-room leader has handed in his licence to ride in Hong Kong and decided to return home to Australia.
"It is a different world now," Warwick Farm trainer Guy Walter said yesterday.
Walter and Dye were a formidable combination with their most noticeable association through the outstanding galloper Tie The Knot, which retired a 13-time group 1 winner.
"But I think it is going to be great having him back," Walter said. "Competition is good. You can see what's happened with those South African jockeys, Jeff Lloyd and Glyn Schofield, they've been a breath of fresh air."
Of course, champion jockey Darren Beadman is now in Hong Kong along with three-time Melbourne Cup winner Glen Boss, but the arrival of the South Africans along with Victorians Blake Shinn, Nash Rawiller and Danny Nikolic has added another dimension to the ranks of Sydney jockeys.
Shinn, who along with Rawiller was coaxed north by Gai Waterhouse, is a tearaway leader of the Sydney jockeys' premiership. To think Shinn was only 12 when Dye stunned the racing scene with the move to Hong Kong. Shinn turns 21 in September.
read more: Shane Dye back at Randwick
The Big G