So You Think Atones in Prince of Wales's
The victory by the 6-year-old son of High Chaparral provided jockey Joseph O'Brien with his first Royal Ascot win and gave his father, trainer Aidan O'Brien, a double on the card. The trainer also conditioned Ishvana, winner of the seven-furlong Jersey Stakes (Eng-III).
The win also provided a measure of vindication for So You Think, who was upset as the heavy favorite in this race last year.
Lining up in the 10-furlong Prince of Wales's was The Queen's own Carlton House, who was making his second start since returning to racing last month. The son of Street Cry was an impressive winner of the Betfair Brigadier Gerard Stakes (Eng-III), and his connections were very hopeful that the colt would be able to provide The Queen with her first Royal Ascot winner in 35 years.
A field of 11 contested the Prince of Wales's, and at the start it was So You Think's pacemaker, Robin Hood, that went to the front to set the pace. Hot on his heels was U.S. raider Big Blue Kitten, as So You Think sat right behind them in third. Ryan Moore kept Carlton House covered up in mid-pack early on, as the French raiders Planteur and Reliable Man raced toward the rear of the field early.
With just over two furlongs to run, So You Think moved into the lead as Robin Hood and Big Blue Kitten began to fade. Carlton House skimmed the rail and drove up to challenge So You Think, and the pair matched strides briefly until the former Aussie runner shifted into another gear and pulled away, eventually crossing the wire a clear winner.
Carlton House held on well for second, with the late-closing Farhh another half-length back in third. The final time for the 10 furlongs was 2:03.86 over the good turf course.
Aidan O'Brien has come under some fire from So You Think's former Australian connections for the way he's been training the horse. After the race, O'Brien addressed that, telling reporters, "It took me a year and a half to learn how to train him. I went back and listened to what everybody was saying to do with him. I was probably overworking him, galloping the speed out of him, and I suppose I set off on the wrong leg with him."
So You Think may just have one more start left before he is retired and sent to Australia to begin stud duties. On that, O'Brien said, "We felt we had him in a place like never before. We knew we only had today and maybe Sandown to get it back. The boys will talk about it and we will give our input, but we are just delighted to get him back to where Bart (Cummings) had him."
So You Think races for the partnership of Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, Dato Tan Chin Nam, and T. Yahaya. He was bred in New Zealand by M.J. Moran and Piper Farm Ltd., and is out of the mare Triassic, a stakes-winning daughter of Tights.
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