Former Australian champion racehorse So You Think showed he had lost none of his gleam when blitzing his rivals upon debut in Europe on Tuesday night causing trainer Aidan O’Brien to label him “an incredible specimen.”
While Australia is most famous for its sprint champions including the world’s current top-rated runner Black Caviar, So You Think paved the way for the stayers winning his first-up run at The Curragh in Ireland by an incredible 10 lengths.
Prepared by maestro trainer Bart Cummings throughout his glittering Australian career that included five Group 1 victories, So You Think was famously sold for a reported $50 million to Coolmore Stud in Ireland at the end of last year.
Now trained by Aidan O’Brien, the High Chaparral five-year-old hadn’t raced since running third as the beaten favourite in last year’s $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington in November.
The Melbourne Cup came just two runs after So You Think took out his second Cox Plate joining an elite list of turf greats to win successive editions of the iconic weight-for-age showdown at Moonee Valley.
So You Think showed he was in a class of his own when thrashing an average field in the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes (2000m) at his European debut and will now head towards his first elite level assignment since leaving Australia.
After settling third, So You Think and jockey Seamus Heffernan hit another gear with 250m left to travel pulling well clear of the field.
Coasting to victory, So You Think hit the line 10 lengths ahead of Bob Le Beau with Mid Mon Lady a further two lengths away for third.
The star stallion still had plenty in the tank having won in 2:12.84, over 12.8 seconds outside of the course record, turning the Mooresbridge Stakes into nothing more than a track gallop.
“I never let out the throttle at all,” jockey Heffernan said.
“He was going half speed.
“He’s a real one.”
The Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup (2000m) at The Curragh on May 22 is tipped to be So You Think’s next run where he will face the likes of Prix de L’arc de Triomphe winner Workforce.
Prior to the Morresbridge Stakes win, So You Think was equal in the Timeform ratings at 133 with Workforce.
So You Think now sits as the clear favourite for the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 14, although O’Brien is yet to confirm a Royal Ascot campaign.
So You Think is also nominated for the Queen Anne Stakes (1600m) during the Royal Ascot meet, a race O’Brien took out with fellow Aussie import Haradasun in 2008.
“He has only been doing half speeds at home and was just ready for today’s race,” O’Brien said after last night’s victory.
“He came to Ireland with the most unbelievable reputation and he is a real product of Australian breeding, training and racing.
“We have heard all these things about him and how unbelievable he was and when you see him you can believe it.”
So you Think has now won nine of his 13 starts, earning over $5.6 million in career prize money.
Adding to the stallion’s superstar status is his versatility, able to win races from 1400m up to 2040m.
“He’s unique,” O’Brien said of So You Think.
“He seems to go so easily in his races that he could either go up or even step back in trip.”
Now considered to be among the top echelon in Europe, So You Think is unlikely to return to Australia during the spring to vie for a third Cox Plate.
Connections at Coolmore Stud are expected to keep with the international agenda with races such as Longchamp’s Prix De l’Arc De Triomphe in October a more significant aim.