Farewell So You Think

The Aidan O’Brien trained six-year-old So You Think retired to stud this week, after a bout of lameness ruled him out of the Coral Eclipse – a race where he was aiming to land back to back renewals of the Group 1 prize, on what was to be his swansong before embarking on a return to his native Australia to assume stud duties.

The son of High Chaparral began his career in Australia under the tutelage of ‘Cup King’ Bart Cummings, where he quickly became a superstar landing a total of 5 Group 1’s including two Cox Plates, a Mackinnon Stakes, an Underwood Stakes and Yalumba Stakes before finishing a massive third in the biggest prize of all, the Melbourne Cup despite failing to settle throughout the contest. That was to be his final run in Australia, as in late 2010 the powerful Coolmore outfit purchased a controlling interest in the powerful entire and was subsequently moved to trainer Aidan O’Brien’s Tipperary base.

It didn’t take the giant long to transfer his southern hemisphere ability over to our shores, after hacking up hard on the bridle on his debut in the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes, he quickly added a Group 1 in similar style with a facile success in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and after a minor blip at Ascot being beaten by Rewilding, he added another Group 1 when taking out the Coral Eclipse at Sandown, before adding the Irish Champion Stakes to his resume. Things didn’t go to plan in the Arc de Triomphe where he flashed home late into fourth, but he returned to form with another huge run at Ascot but found one too good in the shape of the high-class globetrotter Cirrus Des Aigles.

A trip to America was next for So You Think, where he would contest the Breeders Cup Classic despite having never race on dirt before. He wore blinkers for the first time and held every chance turning in at the top of the straight, but gradually weakened out of things in a typical gritty battling display, going out on his sword – eventually finishing sixth.

His campaign this season started off in Dubai, where he would tackle Group 1 opposition from across the world again this time in the Dubai World Cup. Ridden close to the pace, he had every chance two furlongs from home but he was worn down by those with more tactical speed in the closing stages, plugging on gamely for fourth. This was then followed by a change in routine by the master of Ballydoyle, after acknowledging live on TV that he had been “training the speed out of So You Think”. So You Think then returned at the Curragh in a bid to retain the Tattersalls Gold Cup, which he’d won a year previous and did so in effortless style again.

His final career start would be to come at Royal Ascot, where he avenged the defeat a year previous by Rewilding with a dominant and truly brilliant display in the Prince Of Wales Stakes 2012. Ridden handy in the early stages, he travelled noticeably well throughout his race, and quickened up smartly with that long powerful ground-devouring stride taking him to the head of affairs two furlongs out. He was then challenged by Carlton House (third in the Epsom Derby 2011), and in true battling fashion the giant So You Think showed his heart in battle yet again, breaking his rival before extending his advantage in the closing stages.

So You Think has been one of the most consistent horses I’ve ever came across since I started compiling my speed figures, especially in the very top grade and goes down as an all-time great in my opinion at least and I believe he will make a fantastic stallion prospect. His figures for me read (recent-furthest) 130-126-130-125-134-137-132-121-121-125-123.

[quote]It’s a big disappointment that he’ll miss the Eclipse, but he’s had a wonderful racing career and now it’s time for him to shine at stud. His book reads like a who’s who of all the best mares and breeders so he’ll get the best possible start. – Tom Magnier [/quote]  [frame_right src=”http://www.ohracing.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/SYTD.png” href=””][/frame_right]

So You Think retires to stud down under with an impressive record of 23-14-4-1, unplaced only four times in a long career at the top level is a remarkable achievement and a testament to his consistency and ability. In his fourteen victories, he won 10 at the highest level (Group 1), one Group 2, and two Group 3’s – a total of 13 victories in graded stakes. So You Think amassed a total prize money haul of £5,058,956 throughout his illustrious career.

[quote]”So You Think is an extraordinary horse and it was a real privilege to have had him here at Ballydoyle on loan from Australia,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said. [/quote]

So You Think will now enter quarantine before being shipped home to Australia to stand at Coolmore Australia, where he will command a fee of $A66,000.

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