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So You Think (NZ) Retired to Stud

So You Think (NZ) Retired to Stud

The curtains have been pulled on the racing career of one of New Zealand's most successful racehorses seen in recent times with the New Zealand bred Karaka graduate So You Think (NZ) officially retired to stud.

Announced by Coolmore yesterday, So You Think (High Chaparral x Triassic) has subsequently been withdrawn from Sunday morning's Group 1 Eclipse Stakes where he was odds on to claim his 11th Group 1 race.

The son of High Chaparral was found to be lame after exercising yesterday morning in Ireland and it appears he has pulled a muscle in his hind quarter which precludes him from running in the Eclipse Stakes. So You Think will enter quarantine this week as originally planned before making his trip back to Australia to commence stud duties.

"It's a big disappointment that he'll miss the Eclipse, but he's had a wonderful racing career and now it's time for him to shine at stud," said Coolmore Australia's Tom Magnier. "His book reads like a who's who of all the best mares and breeders so he'll get the best possible start."

A ten-time Group 1 winner, So You Think was a dynamic performer on the turf and has been a wonderful ambassador for New Zealand breeding and Australian racing.

Bred by Mike Moran & Piper Farm, So You Think was purchased by Duncan Ramage's DGR Thoroughbred Services from Windsor Park Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2008 Karaka Premier Sale for $110,000.

Trained by master trainer Bart Cummings in Australia before being taken to Ireland, So You Think won Australia's Weight-for-Age Championship - the Group 1 Cox Plate - in 2009 at just his fifth race start. His time of 2 minutes 3.98 seconds was the second fastest time ever recorded in the race.

Melbourne's 2010 Spring Carnival was turned into a procession as he set the tracks alight in his four-year-old season, taking the Group 2 Memsie Stakes, Group 1 Underwood Stakes and the Group 1 Yalumba Stakes before his historic second Cox Plate victory. The 2010 Cox Plate win saw So You Think become the only horse in history to win the Cox Plate at ages three and four.

His performance in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes leading into the Melbourne Cup was exceptional and he lost no admirers at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November when running a brave third in the gruelling Group 1 Melbourne Cup.

So You Think's achievements in 2010 captured the attention of the world's racing media and that of Coolmore Stud who later purchased a major share in the superstar and took him to Ireland to be trained at Coolmore's famous Ballydoyle property.

So You Think left Australia the World Champion Stayer and the equal Champion Intermediate (Middle Distance) Turf Performer of the World, alongside Irish star Rip Van Winkle, with a rating of 126, the highest rating ever given to a horse racing in Australia at the time.

So You Think hit the ground running in Ireland turning in an effortless display to win his northern hemisphere debut in the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh by ten lengths for his new trainer Aidan O'Brien.

The Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup in May last year was So You Think's first Group 1 assignment in Ireland and much to the delight of punters, who had backed him into red hot favourite, he cruised to an easy four-and-a-half length victory.

Luck deserted So You Think at Royal Ascot at his next start where he was caught just short of the post in the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes by the ill-fated Rewilding (Tiger Hill), but he quickly made amends in the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes.

So You Think's Eclipse Stakes victory was a major achievement for New Zealand. Not only was he the second New Zealand bred Group 1 winner in England in history, the first was Starcraft (Soviet Star), he was the first non-Irish, English or European horse to win over a middle distance in England since the American galloper Reigh Court won the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom in 1929.

So You Think then returned to Ireland to contest the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes where he met a game challenge from the four-time Group 1 winning filly Snow Fairy (Intikhab) who raced the kiwi bred to within half-a-length at the post. A race that has been won by some of the greats, So You Think's name now sits alongside High Chaparral, Giant's Causeway, Azamour, Dylan Thomas, New Approach and Sea the Stars as the winners of the Irish Champion Stakes.

After trips to France to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, America for the Breeders' Cup and Dubai for the Dubai World Cup, So You Think returned to his brilliant best in May 2012. Making a winning return when successfully defending his Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup title, he became just the second horse in history to win back-to-back Gold Cups with Yankee Gold (Lord Gayle) completing the double in 1976 and 1977.

Arguably the defining victory in So You Think's career came three weeks ago when he produced his best form in England to win the 150th anniversary of the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot, a race he came so close in last year.

The Aidan O'Brien trained entire raced like the So You Think that levelled his opposition in Australia before his departure to Ireland. The clear change of tactics from talented young jockey Joseph O'Brien allowed So You Think to use his devastating acceleration to put paid to a strong field and gain a deserved win at one of the world's most elite thoroughbred meetings.

So You Think retires to stud with an imposing record. His 23 career starts saw the son of High Chaparral take 14 victories - 13 at stakes level and 10 at Group 1 level - with a further 5 placings for $10,749,800 in stakes.

He will stand his first season at stud at Coolmore Australia for a fee of A$66,000.


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