So You Think May Contest Third Cox Plate After Eclipse Win

By: Sarah Fortnum
July 4th, 2011
So You Think

Reigning champion So You Think could contest third Cox Plate

So You Think has cemented his place as one of the world’s greatest stayers by winning the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park Racecourse in England on the weekend.

The five-year-old was trailing English Derby and Prix de l’arc de Triomphe winner Workforce at the straight, however, proved too good for him in the final stages of the race.

So You Think, who was previously trained by Bart Cummings, won yesterday’s Eclipse Stakes by a half-length.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien now believes that the opportunities are endless for So You Think’s racing career.

“He has a lot of choices,” O’Brien said.

“He has so many races open to him so we will go home and talk about it and hopefully we will come up with the right plan.”

O’Brien was thrilled that So You Think could comeback from his recent second-place finish behind Rewilding in the Prince Of Wales Stakes at Ascot last month.

“I am delighted for the horse, it was lovely today,” O’Brien said.

“It was a straightforward race.

“With the pacemaker (Confront) in, whose best form was over a mile and a half (2400m), it was a no-brainer so Seamus got him settled in and followed Ryan (Moore).

“The race started three down (600m) with the pacemaker on the outside and Confront was not going to stay there forever and Seamus was very cool on him.

“He just sat away and then angled him out and gave him a lovely ride.

“He is a horse that gets a mile and a quarter (2000m) but he has a miler’s pace and when they settle with the speed he has the sky is the limit.”

So You Think’s jockey, Seamus Heffernan, was pleased that everything went to plan.

”He’s a just very good horse and things went smoothly today,” Heffernan said.

”It was a nice pace and it was just like a piece of work.

“He might have been a bit fresh going there (to Ascot) but he was fine today.

”It was a nice pace, and it was just like a piece of work with a good horse leading me.

”He’s an uncomplicated horse, and I knew I would pick up Ryan when I did.

“I’ve ridden a lot of very good ones on the gallops, and when they don’t bring it to the racecourse you don’t want to talk about it, but the ones that do bring it are special.”

Australia now waits with baited breath as Aidan O’Brien decides whether to bring So You Think to Australia later in the year to contend a third Cox Plate in Melbourne.

“He has the Irish Champion Stakes, he has the Juddmonte (International) and he could have a break now and be trained for the Cox Plate,” O’Brien said.

Coolmore Australia’s racing manager, Todd Magnier, said that a third Cox Plate is a viable option for So You Think.

”Dad has always wanted to win a Cox Plate, and it is an option to bring him back to Australia,” Magnier said.

”That win opens up a lot more options for him, including the Juddmonte International and Irish Champion Stakes, and of course the Arc [de Triomphe] is still there.

”The Cox Plate has always been on our list but we have to work through some quarantine issues if he is to come back.”

Coolmore will have to choose between a Cox Plate run and a start in the Arc de Triomphe at the start of October.

”We will sit down in the next week and try and work out what is best for the horse,” Magnier said.

Magnier said that So You Think’s win has proven to Europe that he is the champion Australia has always made him out to be.

”It is the biggest thrill I have ever had in racing,” Magnier said.

”Everyone in Europe now knows he is as good as all the Australians have been saying.

“He beat a serious horse, and it was just sensational.”

Magnier believes this latest win will further aid the Australian and New Zealand racing and breeding industries.

”This is a win for Australian racing, New Zealand breeders and it is a credit to everyone … involved with the horse,” he said.

“From Bart Cummings to everyone at Ballydoyle.”

However, part owner Dato Tan Chin Nam has expressed his wishes for So You Think to skip a third Cox Plate attempt in favour for European races.

Duncan Ramage, Dato Tan Chin Nam’s Australian bloodstock manager, also felt an American campaign may be on the cards for the horse.

“If So You Think came for the Cox Plate he could not run in the Arc or the Breeders’ Cup in the United States,” Ramage said.

“Dato Tan was very pleased with the win and he is very keen for So You Think to be an ambassador for Australasian racing.

“He wants him to be a flag bearer around the world and the horse has two Cox Plates already.

“The decision will be up to Coolmore and it’s great to think of the options he has.

“As Dato has said, So You Think was the Tiger of Australia and he wants him to show he is the world’s Tiger.”

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