After So You Think’s recent successes in Europe, there is much talk that he could be the best Australian export since Phar Lap.
Timeform ratings expert Gary Crispe believes that people are unaware of how historically significant So You Think’s British wins have been.
So You Think’s victory in the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Racecourse was the first time a non-European runner has won a major middle-distance staying race in England since 1929, when the Coronation Cup was won by American galloper Reigh Court.
“There has always been the view, and it still exists today, that Europe is the domain of middle-distance and staying thoroughbred supremacy,” Crispe explained.
“There are many who may disagree but it is hard to argue against the view when horses such as Glass Harmonium and My Kingdom Of Fife, to name just two, generally regarded as second-tier in Europe, can come to Australia and win or be competitive at Group 1 level.
“Against this background, it is easy to appreciate why many in the UK believed So You Think faced a herculean task to be competitive at Group 1 level in England over a middle distance and beyond, let alone be victorious.
“(But) So You Think has eclipsed the past deeds of some great overseas gallopers (who were) unable to achieve this single most significant feat – beat the Europeans on British soil over a middle distance.”
Takeover Target wowed onlookers with wins in England, Japan and Singapore, while Strawberry Road tackled much of the world during the 1980’s in her overseas campaign.
Crispe finds it impossible to criticise So You Think after he defeated Europe’s best stayer, Workforce, convincingly in the Eclipse Stakes.
“All critics were silenced at Sandown in the Eclipse Stales over 10 furlongs where he faced Europe’s top-rated middle distance/staying colt Workforce (Timeform rated 133), winner of the 2010 Epsom Derby and Prix de ‘Arc de Triomphe,” Crispe said.
“So You Think demonstrated his superiority over Workforce (by) giving the colt a start and winning up the Sandown Park straight.
“Timeform assessed the merit of the win at 134.”