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Popular Aussie expat So You Think is set to add more international glory to his commanding race record, this time in Ireland with trainer Aidan O’Brien confirming the seven-time Group 1 winner will next race in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 3.
High Chaparral five-year-old So You Think became the horse to watch last spring when racing in Australia under the preparation of the legendary Bart Cummings.
Having already risen to the top with their 2009 Cox Plate victory, So You Think was unstoppable during last year’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Winning five races on the trot, including four elite levels, So You Think added his name to a privileged list of dual Cox Plate winners with a second successive victory in the richest weight-for-age race in Australasia.
In their swansong race as an Aussie-trained horse, So You Think finished a gallant third behind winner Americain and runner-up Maluckyday in the 150th Emirates Melbourne Cup.
Sold to Ireland’s Coolmore Stud for a record sum, So You Think has captured the European racing world in the same devastating style he did down under since winning his European debut in May by an incredible 10 lengths.
From four starts under O’Brien, the superstar has won three including two Group 1’s and at their other run they were narrowly and controversially defeated by only a quarter of a length at Ascot.
O’Brien has now confirmed through Coolmore Australia’s racing manager Tom Magnier that the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes (2012m) is next on the agenda, while there is still a possibility that So You Think will return to his homeland for a tilt at a record-equalling third Cox Plate win.
“There are plenty of options for him,” Magnier said.
“His next run is going to be in the Irish Champion Stakes.
“He can run in that and then go into quarantine if he was to come here (to Australia for the Cox Plate) but there are a couple of other races that the trainer could run him in as well.”
So You Think was one of the 189 Cox Plate 2011 nominations taken by Racing Victoria earlier this week, the $3 million weight-for-age feature to take place at Moonee Valley on Saturday October 22.
Despite being far from a confirmed starter in the Cox Plate final field, So You Think is dominating the Cox Plate futures betting sitting at the top of the odds paying $7.
He is also the dominant $4 favourite in the early markets for the 2011 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, France’s iconic Group 1 race at Longchamp due to take place on October 3, which is an attractive alternative to the Cox Plate.
O’Brien is reportedly focusing more of his Cox Plate attention on his other nominee in the Moonee Valley feature, Cape Blanco.
The well-bred Galileo four-year-old is a triple top level winner overseas having saluted in the 2010 Irish Derby, 2010 Irish Champion Stakes – the race So You Think is vying for a win in next – and then the Grade 1 Man O’ War Stakes (2120m) in America last start on July 9.
“He is the horse that the trainer thinks is suitable for the race,” Magnier said of Cape Blanco in regards to the Cox Plate.
“There are still a few issues we need to get organised before nay horse would be coming.
“I will be talking to Aidan in the next couple of days, but we are keeping our options open with both horses.”
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