Former champion Australian racehorse So You Think is preparing for his European race debut, the High Chaparral four-year-old hitting the turf for the first time since being sold to his new international connections at the end of last season.
So You Think was formerly prepared by maestro trainer Bart Cummings for prominent owner Dato Tan Chin Nam but is now trained by Ireland’s Aidan O’Brien.
Australian connections sold So You Think for a record price to Coolmore Stud last year.
“So You Think has settled in well,” O’Brien told the Racing Post last month.
“We’re happy with him.”
In Australia the talented galloper started 12 times for eight wins and three minor placings amassing an impressive $5,734,350 in prize money to date.
So You Think’s career highlights include his back-to-back wins in the 2009 and 2010 $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), his second of which was one of four successive Group 1 victories in the spring.
The superstar horse also won last spring’s Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m), Group 1 Yalumba Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
At his final start on Australian turf So You Think was the defeated favourite in the world’s richest handicap, running third to Americain in the $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
“I think we have witnessed one of the all-time greats this spring,” Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter said of So You Think after his run in the 2010 Melbourne Cup.
Earlier this month So You Think achieved a rating of 126 in the first World Thoroughbred Rankings for 2011.
The highest rated horse was champion Australian sprinter Black Caviar with 130.
So You Think is now less than a month away from making his European race debut.
Ballydoyle-based trainer O’Brien has nominated So You Think for the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes (2000m) at The Curragh on Monday, May 2.
H is also entered in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 14.
An enthusiastic O’Brien has high ambitions for the dual Cox Plate champion once he resumes racing.
“He really is a fine horse,” O’Brien said.
“He’s some specimen and we’re all looking forward to getting him started.”
Last Sunday So You Think engaged in his most testing workout in Europe so far, working with stablemates Great Wall Of China and Windsor Palace over 2000m at The Curragh.
In the hitout So You Think displayed his customary strength, beating home his rivals by nearly half a length.
“That’s the most we’ve asked him to do so far and it’s the first time we’ve asked him to come through and join other horses,” O’Brien said.
“There are plenty of middle-distance races to choose from, but he certainly isn’t short of pace
“We’ll get the first run out of the way before mapping out a campaign.”
In Australia So You Think won eight races over varying distances from 1400 – 2040m showing his versatility.
Although most suited to distances of 1800m and over, So You Think has also raced competitively over a mile haring run second to All American in the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) back in November of 2009 at Flemington.
O’Brien hasn’t ruled out running So You Think over a mile this preparation also.