The retirement of So You Think a few weeks ago gives pause to reflect on a career whose significance was lost, coming as it did between Makybe Diva and Black Caviar.
So You Think was good enough to win the Cox Plate as a three year old, becoming only the third horse since 1984 to achieve the feat. In the spring of 2010 he demonstrated his true greatness with dominant wins in the Cox Plate and the McKinnon Stakes and a third in the Melbourne Cup.
His performances in the UK and Europe have been somewhat underestimated. He won Group I races against small fields because other trainers avoided him in much the same way that they avoid Black Caviar here. He ran fourth (first male horse across the line) in the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe at Longchamp, a huge performance in the context of Australian racing. The Arc is the race that the purists rate as the best bar none.
His performances overseas also have to be considered against the background of the admissions by Aidan O’Brien that he trained So You Think wrongly by trying to turn him into a dour stayer rather than taking advantage of his devastating speed.
So You Think will now have the opportunity for greatness as a stallion in the coming years. With the resources of Coolmore at his disposal he will have every opportunity to succeed and he seems to have the attributes for a successful stallion, racetrack success, breeding and stunning looks.
To me, he’s our best middle distance horse since Makybe Diva and second only to Black Caviar in the last few years. I would have loved to see Bart given the chance to give him a proper Melbourne Cup preparation, rather than taking the race on as an after thought having won another Cox Plate. Having seen the Cox Plate field last year I believe he could have annexed that race on the way through, anyway. I also would have loved to see So You Think race against Frankel over 2000m. I doubt he could beat Frankel but I think he’s one of very few that could make a race of it.