So You Think overhauled Workforce in the final yards to capture the $641,760 Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) by a half-length at Sandown Park July 2.
The victory by the son of High Chaparral made amends for the Australian’s surprising defeat in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot in his last start.
A small but select group of five runners went to the post in the 10-furlong Coral-Eclipse in what had been billed as a match-up between last year’s Investec Derby (Eng-I)/Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) winner Workforce, and the two-time Cox Plate (Aus-I) winner So You Think, who had also captured the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I) since his move to trainer Aidan O’Brien.
Adding additional spice to the field was the 2010 dual English and Irish Oaks winning filly Snow Fairy, who was making her first start of the year for trainer Ed Dunlop. Rounding out the field were Sri Putra, who was narrowly defeated in this race last year, and Confront, a multiple stakes winner who was to act as a pacemaker for stablemate Workforce.
As expected, Confront went immediately to the front, with Workforce sitting just behind him in second. Seamie Heffernan kept a relaxed So You Think in third, as Snow Fairy and Sri Putra trailed the field.
The order remained the same until the field rounded the turn and entered the home straight. Ryan Moore decided that he had waited long enough aboard Workforce, and he asked his colt for more run with about three furlongs to go. Workforce easily overtook Confront and spurted clear, opening up a two-length lead. Heffernan moved So You Think into second, and the pair set their sights on the leader.
Rallying powerfully under Heffernan’s strong drive, So You Think reeled in the Arc winner, passing him and drawing away in the final yards. Sri Putra made a belated move to finish third, another five lengths behind Workforce. Snow Fairy, who more than likely needed the run, finished fourth.
The final time was 2:04.77 over the good Sandown course.
A pleased Aidan O’Brien told reporters after the race, “Everything went great, he settled lovely and we are delighted with him. He was where we hoped to have him in Ascot, but those things don't always work out. He’s a smart horse and Ascot left him right for today.”
Regarding future plans for the 5-year-old O’Brien said, “He has a lot of choices. He has the Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I), he has the Juddmonte (International, Eng-I), and he could have a break now and be trained for the Cox Plate. He has so many races open to him so we will go home and talk about it and hopefully we will come up with the right plan.”
So You Think races for the partnership of Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, Dato Tan, and T. Yahaya. He was bred in New Zealand by M.J. Moran and Piper Farm, and is out of the mare Triassic, a stakes-winning daughter of Tights.