No one knows So You Think better than legendary Australian trainer Bart Cummings, not even his current trainer Aidan O’Brien.
That was made apparent in the Prince Of Wales Stakes overnight with a combination of poor tactics and an off preparation contributing to the second place finish of the star Australian export.
There’s no doubt O’Brien is still learning how to get the most out of the horse and it wouldn’t surprise if there was a sneaky call coming from the UK sometime soon looking for a bit of help form Cummings.
He was a keen viewer of last night’s race and there were a few critical observations from the man who got So You Think to such great heights at home.
“He over raced and pulled a little bit,” Cummings said.
“Where the winner was was where I would have liked him to be.
“I think he went a little too early.”
These are the most crucial points made by Cummings and they are not a criticism of the horse itself so much as the tactics used by the stable.
He says it seemed extremely strange that a horse which likes to run on the pace would be given a pacemaker in the early stages.
Cummings says that surely it would have been better for So You Think to sit on the slowest tempo possible early on rather than being forced to run at a quicker speed.
In fact the entire notion of using pace makers is something Cummings has little time for.
“Completely unnecessary and no use for them here,” he said.
In terms of the physical appearance and fitness of the horse he was far more pleased though.
“He looked very well, he’ll certainly improve with the run,” he said.
He says that the second place finish was also crucial for O’Brien who will now gain a much greater understanding on how to progress with So You Think.
“I think the horse will improve greatly for that and the experience will educate O’Brien to do what he really needs,” he said.
At the end of the day though Cummings seems adamant that it was tactics which cost him the race far more than any lack of ability from the horse.
O’Brien came out after the race with a stunning admission saying he took full blame for the horse not being up to scratch.
There was no mention of a failing in terms of the ride though, but it’s something they’ll certainly need to look at.
It mirrored the effort of Frankel earlier in the carnival when he was pushed out to a huge lead and faded badly in the final two furlongs.
Frankel was clear enough to just hold on though but Cummings said he was very fortunate to get to the line first.
“That was an impossible position they put him (Frankel) in, he was lucky to win,” he said.
The two could still meet later in the carnival if Frankel is pushed up in trip, it would be a tantalising clash with O’Brien sure to have learned from his mistakes with So You Think next time out.