He may have sold his star galloper So You Think to Coolmore, but Dato Tan Chin Nam still hopes his former charge can produce something special when he lines up at royal Ascot in the Group One Prince of Wales Stakes next week.
So You Think is set to start in the 2000m Group One Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot next week, after two impressive performances in Ireland that saw him take out the Mooresbridge Stakes and the Group One Tattersall’s Gold Cup.
Dato Tan Chin Nam believes that if So You Think can prove himself as one of the best middle distance horses in the world by winning the Prince of Wales Stakes, then his own stud operation, Think Big Stud, and indeed the entire Australian bloodstock industry will reap the rewards.
“Hopefully he will make people look at our horses and our industry more closely and judge them to be the equal of anywhere.
“Helping the industry through So You Think will make me very happy,” said Tan.
However the 84 year old remained philosophical about So You Think’s chance in the race. No horse from Australia has ever gone to Royal Ascot and won this race.
“History is against So You Think.
“Maybe So You Think can beat history. The only way to know is to stand up to history and try and stare it down. Maybe he is a champion. Maybe he isn’t. Time will tell.” Tan said.
Dato Tan has not had the best luck with taking horses overseas. He still especially regrets the failed international campaign of 1996 Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup winner Saintly.
“Saintly won almost every major race we set him for in Australia, so we decided to take on the world in the Japan Cup in 1996, but travel sickness was horrible.
“That he missed an opportunity to prove his greatness against the world was tragic.” Tan said.
So You Think will not miss such an opportunity and Dato Tan is grateful for the chance to show off a horse bred in Australia in the hope that it will bring attention to the Australian breeding industry.
“I have been fortunate to have had some great horses and from Think Big to So You Think I have always wanted my horses to have their greatness tested.
“When I am gone my legacy to the thoroughbred industry will be Think Big Stud and So You Think.” Tan said.
In 2007 Dato Tan Chin Nam expanded his interests in the Australian breeding industry and acquired Inverness Stud.
It was renamed Think Big Stud (in honour of Think Big, the dual Melbourne Cup winner owned by Dato Tan Chin Nam), and is now home to a quality group of broodmares and two sires of notable pedigree and performance.
Pendragon, by Danzig, was a winner of the Group One Spring Championship and the Group Two Gloaming Stakes. He is joined by five time city winner Prince Arthur.
Unfortunately for Dato Tan, So You Think will not stand at the Stud as a 50% share in the stallion, and all breeding rights were sold to Coolmore last year for $30 million.
So You Think is expected to start his stud career in Ireland next year before coming to Coolmore Australia.
Dato Tan will not make the trip to Royal Ascot, however he will be represented by family and his Australian bloodstock manager Duncan Ramage.