Premier trainer Bart “Cups King” Cummings now plans to run Cox Plate winner, three-year-old colt So You Think, in this Saturday’s Group 1 LKS Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington.
The up-and-coming superstar was originally aimed at the Emirates Stakes (1600m) on November 7th for his next start after his sensational two-and-a-half length victory in the Cox Plate, but Cummings now considers the $750 000 Mackinnon a more suitable distanced race.
The change of plans means So You Think will race against stablemate and last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Viewed in the 2000m weight-for-age event.
The last three-year-old to win the Mackinnon Stakes was Casual Pass in 2003 and only 17 horses have claimed the Cox Plate / Mackinnon Stakes double with Better Loosen Up the most recent in 1990.
Dato Tan Chin Nam, the colt’s owner is reportedly happy with the plan and over the moon with last weekend’s emphatic victory.
Dato Tan Chin Nam, a prominent Malaysian businessman, is owner or part-owner of many of Cummings’ clan including the master trainer’s assured Melbourne Cup entries Roman Emperor and Viewed. 2008 Melbourne Cup winner Viewed gave the renowned owner his fourth Melbourne Cup win making him the most successful owner in the race’s history. Nam also won with Think Big in 1974 and 1975 and Saintly in 1996.
After his ride at Moonee Valley on Saturday, champion hoop Glen Boss has copped a 10 meeting suspension due to interference and so Craig Williams will replace him as So You Think’s jockey.
If either So You Think or Viewed are successful in the Mackinnon Stakes, it will be the fourth Saturday in a row that Cummings has claimed a major spring victory after taking out three Group 1 races in as many weeks with Allez Wonder in the Toorak Handicap, Viewed in the Caulfield Cup and So You Think in the Cox Plate.
Both runners will be up against international competition as well, with this year’s race being the first Mackinnon Stakes to boast overseas entries since 1998 when Annus Miribilis, from the famous Godolphin stable, placed fourth behind Champagne.
This year Cima de Triomphe and Bankable, representing Luca Cumani and Herman Brown respectively, will be at the starting gates on Saturday.
Cummings’ has no runners in the feature Flemington event this Saturday, the Group 1 Victoria Derby, stating that the distance is too challenging and stressful for his early three-year-old colts. However he will be represented in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) by Faint Perfume, also due to compete in the Group 1 VRC Crown Oaks (2500m) on November 5. The filly is another Dato Tan-owned runner that races in his black and white checks.
Also due to run in the Mackinnon is the Graeme Nicholson-trained Sir Slick, the horse scratched from this year’s Cox Plate early on the morning of the race.