Friday June 22, 2012
Tan’s ‘So You Think’ beats the Queen’s horse
MELBOURNE: Superstar ‘So You Think’, part owned by Malaysian construction tycoon Datuk Tan Chin Nam pulled off a stunning win at the Group One Prince of Wales’ Stakes (2,000m) at Royal Ascot, England, on Wednesday.
‘So You Think’, the favourite, won by 2¼ lengths from Carlton House, owned by the Queen, to record his fifth Group One win in Europe and 10th overall.
The success was clearly his best run since being transferred from legendary Australian trainer Bart Cummings after Irish breeding and racing giant Coolmore bought a half share in him about 18 months ago and moving the champion to Britain.
Despite winning four Group One races for Ireland’s top trainer Aidan O’Brien before Wednesday, the dual Cox Plate winner here, So You Think had failed to reproduce the form that had earned him a price tag of more than A$80mil (RM264mil) in Australia.
Following defeats in a succession of big races, including last year’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes, the Prix de Arc de Triomphe and others in the United States and Dubai, O’Brien’s tactics came under question in Australia, particularly from Cummings.
O’Brien said he listened to the outcry from Australia two months ago and changed his tactics with ‘So You Think’, dubbed the “Australian Tiger” by the British press.
O’Brien, who took over from Cummings as ‘So You Think’s trainer 18 months ago, confessed he had got things totally wrong and was only sorry he hadn’t realised it sooner.
“I apologise to the Australian people for messing it up,” O’Brien said.
Ireland’s most successful trainer said he had tried to turn ‘So You Think’ into a stayer and as a result had destroyed the horse’s natural speed.
“I was overworking the horse ... working him too long and too hard,” he said.
Having finally got it right, it is now possible ‘So You Think’ has run his last race and will return to Australia later this year for stud duties. — Bernama