One So Close and One So Exciting
For half an hour on Saturday, So You Think had a new Group I winner on his tally after Gentleman Roy (6g So You Think x La La Land, by Last Tycoon) produced a brave effort to lead and hold off all challengers in the Group I MRC CF Orr Stakes (1400m), but a protest from runner-up Jacquinot saw connections heading to the stewards room.
A bump from Mark Zahra and Gentleman Roy to Jacquinot in the last 100m was seen as sufficient to overturn the result given the short half head margin and while the Lindsay Park training team of Ben and JD Hayes were disappointed with the result, they were happy with their horse.
“He's a remarkable horse. He was there to be beat and he fought off some really good horses there. He's a brave as the day is long and I knew he'd be thereabouts at the 200 (metre mark) but that was the longest 200 of my life,” said JD Hayes.
"It was a terrific ride by Mark. He had him in a beautiful rhythm breathing and full credit to the horse. That was a tremendous effort.”
With eight wins and five placings from 17 starts and over $780,000 in prizemoney, Gentleman Roy will aim towards the $4.25million All Star Mile on March 18.
It was the second Group I win for Jacquinot, who was conceived, foaled and raised at Coolmore and retained to race by his breeders after passing in as a yearling. He is the first foal of unraced Pierro mare Ponterro, a sibling to Group I winner Inference, Group II winner Dragon Leap and stakes-winner Illation.
So You Think has a star on the rise in Sydney with exiting prospect Think About It (4g So You Think x Tiare, by Flying Spur) winning a very strong Benchmark 88 event over 1300m at Randwick on Saturday.
The Joe Pride trained gelding powered home over the top of his rivals to win by a half a length and has now won five of six starts earning nearly $230,000 in prizemoney.
“He’s probably 12 months or ever further away from maturing fully as he’s still a big baby and we saw that in the yard having a bit of a play around. That’s just him, he’s like it all the time, it’s like he’s still in the teenager stage,” said Pride.
“We’ll take our time with him and obviously he’s going to be a stakes horse, but it’s what level of stakes races he may get to and how far he can run, I’m not sure.”
A $70,000 Inglis Premier purchase for Proven Thoroughbreds / Joe Pride Racing from the Newgate Farm draft, Think It Over was bred by Lightning Thoroughbreds and foaled and raised at Newgate.
He is a half-brother to metro winner Private Cheetah and is the second winner from Tiare, a winning half-sister by Flying Spur to Group II winning sprinter Keen Array.
His grand-dam is by Zabeel and the family features two Group I winners in Hong Kong in The Duke and Sky Field, so there is plenty of quality on the page and So You Think has produced Group I winners from daughters of both Flying Spur and Zabeel.
Joe Pride nearly won a stakes race earlier in the day with another son of So You Think when Titanium Power (5g So You Think x Dalkeith, by Encosta de Lago) went down by a head in the Group III ATC Southern Cross Stakes.
The five year-old is building an imposing record with eight wins and eight placings from 26 starts with prizemoney topping $545,000.