The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Think About It got his nose down right on the line holding on in a first-up thriller to show why he is one of the favourites for upcoming $20 million The Everest when narrowly saluting for the punters in Saturday’s 2023 Premiere Stakes results.
The Joe Pride-trained star has already secured his slot in The Everest field back at Randwick on October 14 with the gun son of So You Think to contest the world’s richest turf race for Newgate Farm & GPI Racing.
He returned for the spring a winner, but was made to work for it by the fast-finishing Hawaii Five Oh in a sensational edition of the Group 2 $1 million Premiere Stakes (1200m) on Epsom Handicap Day.
“Overall pretty pleased with the way he’s handled himself today,” winning trainer Joe Pride said after the race.
“He sort of looked a bit lost when he got to the front there and he’s up against these big boys now he can’t afford to do anything wrong.
“He wandered around a little bit, he’ll take good improvement out of that.”
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained I Am Invincible four-year-old Hawaii Five Oh caught the eye of the remaining The Everest slot holders with a confirmation of his bid pending after a brilliant second-up run in the million-dollar showdown.
Last year’s winner Lost And Running looking to bounce back led the field around before Think About It, ridden by Sam Clipperton, charged up the inside to take the lead with a furlong to go.
The in-form Nash Rawiller however was quickly on the scene flashing down the outside on the progressive stallion Hawaii Five Oh ($8.50) who had the fitness edge off a lead-up sixth in the Group 2 The Shorts from September 16.
It was a photo-finish but the Premiere Stakes results went the way of the punters in a relief for connections of Think About It ($1.85F).
“I’m sure it’s the first time I’ve ever seen him ridden in behind them on the inside, there’s not a lot of horses enjoy that,” Pride added.
“He’s been a horse that Sam (Clipperton) has always been able to give a lot of galloping room to. I think that’s really what he likes because he’s such a big striding horse.
“Big relief, it felt like there was more to lose today than to gain but it’s good.”
The winner has now won 10 of his 11 career starts including having completed the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup – Stradbroke Handicap double in Brisbane over the winter.
The Stradbroke form was firmly franked in Sydney’s Premiere Stakes with Hawaii Five Oh having also run a place at Eagle Farm when third to Think About It in Queensland’s feature race.
Third in the Premiere Stakes meanwhile went to Ciaron Maher & David Eustace‘s classy Victorian mare Bella Nipotina ($7.50).
Think About It is the $4.50 second favourite in all-in The Everest odds at Ladbrokes.com.au second only to the Peter Moody & Katherine Coleman-trained I Wish I Win.
“I’m pretty certain my horse will be cherry ripe in two weeks’ time,” Clipperton said of Think About It looking ahead to The Everest.
Hawaii Five Oh is rated a $15 shot, while Bella Nipotina is at $26.
2023 Premiere Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||2||THINK ABOUT IT||Joseph Pride||Sam Clipperton||2||58.5kg||$1.85F|
|2||6||HAWAII FIVE OH||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Nash Rawiller||0.16L||6||58.5kg||$8.50|
|3||9||BELLA NIPOTINA||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Craig Williams||0.9L||5||56.5kg||$7.50|
|4||8||ALCOHOL FREE (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Joao Moreira||2.82L||4||56.5kg||$10|
|5||10||ZAPATEO||James Cummings||James McDonald||3.43L||3||56.5kg||$6.50|
|6||7||KOTE||Anthony Cummings||Jason Collett||4.58L||7||58.5kg||$151|
|7||5||ATHELRIC||James Cummings||Blake Shinn||4.94L||8||58.5kg||$41|
|8||1||LOST AND RUNNING (NZ)||John O’Shea||Ms Jamie Kah||6.53L||1||58.5kg||$12|
|4||REMARQUE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tim Clark||0|
|3||MAZU||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tommy Berry||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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