October 19, 2010

So You Think He’s a Super Horse

So you think America’s Zenyatta and Europe’s Goldikova have the super horse market cornered? Not so fast my friends. You only need take a quick look down under to see that there is more out there besides the two great mares. On the precipice of equine greatness is Australia’s new racing hero, So You Think. He is a four-year-old New Zealand bred son of High Chaparral, who will be out to make history when he goes for back-to-back victories in Saturday‘s $3 million Cox Plate.

The Cox Plate is regarded as the best weight-for-age race in Australia and is the second most important contest in the horse racing mad nation after only the Melbourne Cup. In recent years, The Cox Plate has featured large fields and wide open affairs. Not so this year, as only nine others have entered to challenge the heavily favored So You Think, who won last year by 2 ½ lengths. If he can send his throng of backers home happy, he will become the first horse since Northerly in 2002 to win consecutive runnings of the 2040 meter (just over 1 ¼ miles) turf race at Moonee Valley Racing Club. More impressively, with a win, So You Think would become the first horse in history to take the historic race at both three and four years old. Trained by the living legend, Bart Cummings, he has given his supporters great reason to be confident with three powerful wins leading up to the Cox Plate.

His last race was in the Group 1 Yalumba Stakes on October 9. In that race, rider Steven Arnold, who has yet to be beaten on So You Think, had the dark bay colt stalking early leader Red Ruler before quickly taking command three furlongs from the wire. From there, So You Think displayed why he is so highly regarded. Take a look.

The Yalumba victory was So You Think's third victory in a group one stakes and raised his overall record to six wins and two seconds from nine starts. Perhaps even more exciting than the prospect of winning the Cox Plate again, is news that Cummings said that the four-year-old will try to pull off the great Australian double by wheeling back in the Melbourne Cup on November 2. Cummings turned the trick once before with Saintly, who completed the Cox Plate-Melbourne Cup double back in 1996. The Melbourne Cup will present new challenges as it is contested at the demanding distance of two miles.  If So You Think is successful in both races, he will instantly become a legendary figure in Australian sports, but first things first, and the Cox Plate will not be handed to him.

Chief among his rivals will be the star mare, More Joyous. The Gai Waterhouse trained front runner is in the midst of an impressive winning streak and enters the big race as the clear second choice. Shoot Out may merit the role of third choice in the Cox Plate, but will do so with replacement rider Corey Brown, after the shocking death of Stathi Katsidis, who was found dead in his home yesterday morning. Whobegotyou and Zipping are considered the next two with the best shot to derail the So You Think train. In the end, these horses are likely only running for second money though. The 2010 should be all about So You Think.

Move over Zenyatta, step aside Goldikova, there may be a new sheriff on the racing globe, and his name is So You Think.

Photo by Su-Ann Khaw


bedfont said...

Thanks Brian, I certainly love your wide ranging comments on world racing. Great to hear about these great animals.


Anonymous said...

If he's so good then he should come over here and prove it.

Brian Zipse said...

Thank you Jonathan,

Anonymous, I am not sure I understand that perspective when the two races So You Think will be running in the next few weeks, the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup, have a combined purse of over $9 million.

St.Paddy said...

Another good article.
Superhorse came in the headline maybe very good horse i have no doubt. Superhorse to me would imply Secretariat(USA), Dancing Brave(EUR), Sea The Stars(Eur) and of course the racing post all time champion Sea Bird(Eur). Anonymous comments "he should come here" if that horse should go anywhere it will be to the likes of Royal Ascot & Longchamp.

Brian Zipse said...

Two more wins in the next 14 days, and Super Horse it shall be.

Anonymous said...

I love the Cox Plate, It is a great race, it is so big, i love it.

bedfont said...

Maybe Dubai or the Hong Kong races albeit if he wins 9 Mn bills they might not bother!

The Tuesday Melbourne Cup is a public holiday in Victoria state which must make it the coolest horse race in the world. (The Epsom Derby used to be run on a Weds when shop workers had the afternoon off but that's nowhere near close).

It is a shame the very best in Europe get all their stud value from our domestic season. I would like to see greater traveling of the best but one can understand why they do not.

Makybe Diva won 3 Melbourne Cups but got well beaten twice in Japan. I suspect they might be reticent. Sometimes horses are utterly suited to their home patch.

Anonymous said...

So You Think is the real deal but has to win the Cox plate and Melb Cup to confirm that he is Super.

Jonathan, they name the first Tuesday in November "the race that stops the nation" It's an awesome day and everyones eyes are glued to TV screens nationwide for those special three minutes. Come down and visit sometime. Very memorable experiece.

Nice article Brian, keep it up. Also note these two sprinters in your black book "Hay List" & "Black Caviar" If they go to Ascot they will win some nice races.

Brian Zipse said...

I am very familiar with Black Caviar, and Hay List ... excellent horses!

I wish the United States embraced racing as much as they do in Australia. Looking for someone to hire me to go down and cover the big races. Anyone? Anyone?

bedfont said...

Actually I was at the Cup once and cried as Central Park was collared late having led from a wide draw. (looked up comment below to prove memory not failing)

"Led after 2 1/2f, hard ridden 1 1/2f out, headed and no extra final 30 yards"

50/1... in the shadow of the post! Well almost. Btn by my favourite curry Rogan Josh.

I took loads of notes to back Godolphin no 1 Kayf Tara who was withdrawn days before.

Anonymous said...

Who am I?
My sire won the Cox Plate and later finished 2nd in a Chicago turf stakes. I could have been claimed for 7.5k in my 1st start which I won.

Brian Zipse said...

I'll go with Nodouble.

Anonymous said...

100% correct.
Now if anyone can give me the correct spelling of the trainer who came to the States with Noholme and a few other horses from Australia to train for Gene Goff. Something like A.(Arthur?)W. Beauzaville??? Can't seem to find it anywhere and I can't search without it.

Brian Zipse said...

A.W. Beuzeville