Cognito (So You Think) winning the Gr.2 Wellington Guineas at Trentham

G1 Goals for So You Think Guineas Winner

Having shown serious promise in his first preparation, a bigger and better Cognito (3g So You Think x Lady Primrose, by More Than Ready) announced his arrival among New Zealand’s three-year-old ranks in Saturday’s Group II Life Direct Wellington Guineas (1400m) at Trentham – aided by an extraordinary ride from Opie Bosson.

The son of So You Think began his career in the spring, winning on debut at Taupo before a narrow defeat to star three-year-old Sharp ’N’ Smart at Ruakaka. He spent the rest of his spring at Riccarton, making three starts for a win in the Guineas Trial (1400m), a second in the Group III War Decree Stakes (1600m) and a sixth in the Group I New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).

Scratched from an intended resuming run at Taupo on December 30, Cognito instead took a fresh-up tilt at Saturday’s Wellington Guineas, and he rose to the occasion with the performance of his career so far.

Sent out as favourite following the scratching of pre-post favourite Sharp ’N’ Smart due to a stone bruise, Cognito’s prospects appeared to be getting bleaker with every stride coming down the side of the track. Turning for home, he was way back in third-last and had a wall of horses in front of him

Opie Bosson was able to duck, weave and somehow find a way through, and Cognito took care of the rest with a scintillating late burst to win by a neck.

“I actually got a beautiful run from the gate along the fence, and I was cruising along, but from about the 600 I was really sweating on the gaps opening up,” Bosson admitted. “Luckily for us, they seemed to open up at the right time.

“He’s a very good horse. I haven’t had a lot to do with him before, but I’ve been riding him in a few gallops of late, and he’s really given me a nice feel. He’s still learning, but he’s a very, very good horse.”

Cognito became the second Wellington Guineas winner in the last three years for Te Akau Racing, who also won the race in 2021 with Need I Say More, a son of No Nay Never.

Bought by David Ellis/Andrew Williams Bloodstock Pty Ltd for $165,000 at the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale from the Baramul Stud draft, Cognito has now had six starts for three wins and two second placings, with the promise of much more still to come.

Trainer Mark Walker has nominated him for two Group I features in March – the Group I New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Te Rapa on March 4, along with the Group I Levin Classic (1600m) back at Trentham two weeks later.

“Opie’s shown us many times that he can work miracles, and that was another great ride,” Walker said.

“Full credit to the horse as well.

“We had a little bit of a hiccup that prevented us from running at Taupo first-up, but the owners were very patient and were happy to wait for today. It might have ended up being a blessing in disguise that we brought him here fresh.

“He’s really furnished since the spring, and a big advantage of taking three-year-olds down to Christchurch at that time of the year is that they really grow up mentally with that trip.”

Bred by Gerry Harvey, Cognito is the best of three winners from Lady Primrose, an unraced More Than Ready (USA) daughter of Zabeel stakes-winner Primrose Sands.

Cognito is the 47th stakes-winner for So You Think, whose yearlings have sold for up to $650,000 at Magic Millions this week.