So You Think (NZ) Claims Royal Ascot Double for NZThursday, Jun 21, 2012
Karaka graduate So You Think (NZ) turned in a charismatic performance this morning to win the 150th anniversary of the £500,000 Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes (2000m), giving New Zealand Bloodstock a coveted Royal Ascot double.
The Aidan O'Brien trained entire raced like the So You Think that levelled his opposition in Australia before his departure to Ireland. His brilliant win has put New Zealand at centre stage at Royal Ascot after fellow Karaka graduate Little Bridge (NZ) made history when winning the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes (1000m) yesterday.
This morning's race saw So You Think (High Chaparral x Triassic) jump well and settle in the gun spot just off a solid pace set by Robin Hood (Galileo) with Big Blue Kitten (Kitten's Joy) coming across to sit outside the leader in second place.
So You Think (NZ) powers past Carlton House in
the final stages of the Group 1 Prince of Wales's
Stakes at Royal Ascot.
In a change of tactics from the talented young jockey Joseph O'Brien, he kept So You Think keen coming into the straight, poised behind the leaders, and ambled him out into the clear 400 metres from home.
Travelling beautifully with O'Brien sitting quietly, So You Think mounted his challenge 350 metres out and found a game contest from Carlton House (Street Cry) who was brought through the field on the inside and looked for a moment to have the upper hand.
But So You Think was resolute. Stride for stride for around 200 metres with Carlton House who is raced by Her Majesty The Queen, the patient ride from O'Brien allowed the kiwi bred to use his tactical speed to kick clear in the final stages to a decisive two-and-a-quarter length victory.
So You Think's ability to produce that signature turn of foot, even after a solid battle as seen in this morning's Prince of Wales's Stakes, is what separates him from his rivals and Aidan O'Brien was delighted to see that unique ability the five-year-old possesses back in action.
"It took me a year and a half to learn how to train him," admitted O'Brien. "His work changed significantly this time around, he was quickening like he never had before and we were starting to see what everyone in Australia was raving about.
"We were obviously over working him and we were riding him wrong in his races but everyone at home did a great job and we listened to what his former trainer Bart (Cummings) was saying about the horse.
"Joseph knew how he wanted to ride So You Think in today's race and he rides him in his work so he knows the horse better than anyone.
"He had a very easy run at the Curragh and we didn't really know what to make of it though Joseph was very happy with him. We were just hoping that the horse that everyone was raving about would show up today and he did and I am delighted that he showed everyone just what he can do."
His tenth victory at Group 1 level, So You Think's Royal Ascot win is a deserved accolade for a horse that has achieved so much. Now potentially just one race away from a highly anticipated stud career, So You Think can boast five Group 1 races in Australia, including two Cox Plate titles, and five Group 1 races in the Northern Hemisphere including a prestigious Royal Ascot victory.
So You Think could have his final start next month in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes (2000m), a race he won last year when beating the Derby and Arc winner Workforce (King's Best).
Bred by Michael Moran & Piper Farm, So You Think was purchased as a yearling by Duncan Ramage's DGR Thoroughbred Services from Windsor Park Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2008 Karaka Premier Sale for NZ$110,000.
His record now stands at 23 starts for 14 wins and four placings for just shy of $11 million in stakes.
So You Think's sire High Chaparral shuttled to New Zealand's Windsor Park Stud from 2005 to 2009 and now shuttles to Coolmore Australia. He is the sire of 35 stakes winners, seven of which have won at Group 1 level including Shoot Out, Descarado, Monaco Consul and Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Wrote.
So You Think will stand alongside High Chaparral at Coolmore in Australia this season at an introductory fee of A$66,000.