Burn To Shine (So You Think) wins Gr.3 War Decree Stakes at Riccarton

New G3 Winner for So You Think

Promising gelding Burn To Shine (3g So You Think x Smoulder, by Traditionally) threw his name into the mix of serious contenders for the Group I Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) next month with a determined effort to take out the Group III War Decree Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton.

The Stephen Marsh-trained three-year-old had finished third behind Saturday’s race-rival Lantern Way in the Group II Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) at his last start and turned the tables after enjoying a perfect run in transit for rider Johnathan Parkes.

Parkes sat Burn To Shine one-out behind a muddling speed set up by Funfetti and he proved too good at the finish scoring by half a length.

Marsh was on track at Pukekohe for the day but admitted he had watched the race on television with some excitement.

“It was a very good win and one he deserved as he has been going cracking races,” Marsh said.

“Parkesy said there was no speed on and he probably got to the front a little soon, but he was very resolute and ran the mile out very strongly.

“We train this one for The Oaks Stud, who are very big supporters of the stable, so it is great to get a win like that for them and repay the faith they have in us.”

Marsh will now take Burn To Shine straight to the 2000 Guineas and is upbeat about his prospects.

“We know now he gets a good mile and has experience on the track which will stand him in good stead for what comes next,” he said.

“We also know the Guineas favourite (Crocetti) is a very fine horse but we are here with no travel ahead of us and we can just do our own thing and have him cherry ripe on the day.”

TAB Bookmakers quickly slashed Burn To Shine’s odds for the 2000 Guineas from $21 to $8.50 behind red hot favourite Crocetti ($1.75).

Raced by The Oaks Sud principal Dick Karreman, who bred the horse, Burn to Shine is a half-brother to Group III placed Embers and is the best of three winners from Group II winner Smoulder, a Traditionally (USA) mare daughter of stakes-winner Flying Firebird.

Burn to Shine is the 55th stakes-winner for dual Cox Plate winning sire So You Think.