So You Think’s trainer Aidan O’Brien has offered a bizarre apology to Australian race fans after the star colt lost his first European race in the Prince Of Wales Stakes overnight.
He could only manage second place with first up runner Rewilding having too much for him over the final furlong.
The tactics used by the stable in the race were quite unusual from an Australian perspective and many people are questioning whether that is what cost him.
So You Think was sent for home a long way from the line and was left out by himself as a big target.
O’Brien has been monstrously confident about the horse in the lead up to the race and hasn’t made any excuses, instead laying the blame squarely on himself.
“I take responsibility for this totally,” O’Brien said.
“I think it was trainer error, I didn’t have him fit enough for this kind of race.
“Because he won his first two starts so easily I wasn’t getting into him like you might. Because he was winning so easily I was just letting him come along gently and not training him that hard.
“It’s my fault he got that little bit tired at the end. I’m sorry but we’ll go on from here and I expect plenty of improvement.”
So You Think started as a huge favourite in the race but from the outset things didn’t go to plan.
The stable was trying to use Jan Vermeer as pacemaker however he jumped out last from the gates.
As a result he was hard ridden to the lead but in the process he swooped across the front of So You Think which unsettled the horse greatly.
Jan Vermeer then shot clear at the front but he didn’t hold the position for long with So You Think pushed forward before they had even started to round the bend.
He was well clear at the top of the straight but he’d expended a lot of energy and was a sitting duck for the backmarkers.
Rewilding certainly had to hit full gallop to real in the favourite but with 100m to go it was inevitable and he eventually got up by half a length on the line.
Winning jockey Frankie Dettori was ecstatic with the victory and had plenty of respect for the courage shown by So You Think.
“I have to say the second horse never gave up. It was a tremendous gallop with two great horses,” Dettori said.
“When I got past him it was sheer joy. It was sheer joy just to be in the race. I’m delighted for Rewilding as he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. He’s a very good horse and he showed his true colours today.
“This is what we are here for, to ride these kind of finishes in great races.”
It wasn’t all good news for Dettori though who has been slugged with a nine day suspension for overuse of the whip in the home straight.
In total he hit the horse 24 times, his suspension lasting from June 29 to July 7 and ruling him out of the Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown.
It was the first victory for trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni for the Godolphin stable.
He was humbled by the win and gives the majority of the credit to his boss.
“I have to be honest it’s not me, it’s him (Sheikh Mohammed). He always gives us instructions on how to deal with horses. From training them, to feeding them and everything. It was his highness decision to drop the horse back in distance. We are still learning and he has been racing in England for a long time.” Al Zarooni said.
There are as yet no future races locked in for So You Think with the Eclipse Stakes only a possibility at the moment.
Rewilding however is locked in for a return to Royal Ascot in July for both the King George Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes.