Cup Precedent for Cummings

Just one week after winning his second Cox Plate, So You Think had the audacity to look even more impressive in the G1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.

So You Think (NZ) made light of the opposition to pull away for an authoritative win.  The Bart Cummings-trained champion won by nearly four lengths from fellow High Chaparral four year-old Descarado and Ginga Dude (Istidaad).

If he completes the Mackinnon Stakes-Melbourne Cup double on Tuesday, So You Think will emulate past Cummings stars Leilani, Gold And Black, Let’s Elope and Rogan Josh.

Bart is gunning for 13 Melbourne Cups this year with So You Think the stable elect ahead of fellow NZ bred Precedence.

Cummings has now won 11 in the Mackinnons and 8 of them were NZ-breds horses.  Trellios started the winning run and he was followed by Voleur (NZ), Leilani (NZ), Gold & Black (NZ), Belmura Lad (NZ) – twice, Bounty Hawk (NZ), Let’s Elope (NZ), Rogan Josh, Sirmione and So You Think (NZ).

“He was magic,” jockey Steve Arnold said after the Mackinnon.  “I just let him stride for the first furlong and then he got a nice run.  We let a couple go and he just cantered in the run.

“I just wanted to wait a little bit longer and I actually had a look around at the furlong.  He’s an awesome horse.  He seems to have pulled up great.  He’s super within himself, jumping around, so I don’t think it’s hurt him too much with Tuesday in mind.”

So You Think is unbeaten this campaign and warrants his place as the favourite for the G1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday.

He has emerged as New Zealand’s ultimate industry ambassador with $5.17 in earnings for owners Dato Tan Chin Nam and Tunku Ahmad Yahaya.  There’s another $6 million on offer at Flemington tomorrow.

Bred by Windsor Park Stud’s Mike Moran and Piper Farm’s Cecile Smith, So You Think was offered by Windsor Park Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2008 Premier Yearling Sale.

He was snapped up by Duncan Ramage’s DGR Thoroughbred Services, who now openly admits that the $110,000 purchase represents the best horse he has ever acquired through auction.

So You Think’s former Windsor Park Stud-based sire High Chaparral currently leads the Australian sires’ premiership and from his 16 Group winners counts the five G1 stars – So You Think (NZ), Monaco Consul (NZ), Descarado (NZ), Shoot Out and Canadian based Redwood.

Precedence (5g Zabeel – Kowtow by Shadeed) is a strong second-string chance for Bart.  He won the G3 JRA Cup at Mooney Valley and was bought out of the Bloomsbury Stud draft for $180,000 at the 2007 NZ Bloodstock Premier yearling sale.  He hails from a long line of Group 1 winning stayers in Europe and is closely related to 2009-10 Champion NZ Sprinter (Lord) Tavistock (Montjeu).

Dato Tan Chin Nam owns him in partnership with Sir Patrick Hogan and the Duchess Of Bedford.

A Precedence victory over So You Think does have a precedent.  In 1974, Bart’s champion filly Leilani was a short-priced favourite to complete the Caulfield Cup —Melbourne Cup double but she was run over by her long-priced stablemate Think Big.