O'Brien wasting no time with So You Think

Many people might have expected that champion Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien would give his latest recruit, Australian superstar So You Think, a few months on the easy list to acclimatise to his new surroundings having had such a hard but stunningly successful campaign in his homeland in the autumn, writes Elliot Slater. 

O'Brien is reportedly delighted with his new charge and clearly feels that the horse has taken the journey from the southern hemisphere in his stride and has already, (within four weeks of arriving at Ballydoyle), sent him to have a racecourse canter at Tipperary, along with other members of the blue blooded string. Those who bet on horse racing will no doubt be excited by the prospect of having a punt on So You Think.

Reports emanating from Ballydoyle suggest that the team could not be happier with what they found upon the arrival of the son of High Chaparral and that, (despite having handled some of the best horses in the world over the last decade and more), there is a quiet belief that So You Think could be the best horse they have ever trained. That wouldn't come as a total surprise with the five-year-old, a winner of a stunning four Australian Group 1's in six weeks from mid-September to late October last year, officially rated the world's best stayer and joint best middle-distance horse (with O'Brien's Rip Van Winkle) in 2010. 

Trained by Ausssie legend Bart Cummings, So You Think's winning run came to a glorious end when he carried a big weight into third place in the Melbourne Cup (behind French-trained winner Americain), on his first run over two miles, having never previously run beyond 10 furlongs. A controlling interest in the horse was then purchased by Coolmore and he was duly transferred to Ireland to continue his career. 

All the top middle-distance races in Europe are possible targets for the O'Brien horse, and I for one would not be the least bit surprised to see him carry off races such as the Coronation Cup, Coral Eclipse Stakes, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and even the 'Arc'. This is going to be a very, very special horse for 2011.