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So You Think wins
(Agencies) / 21 June 2012
ASCOT — So You Think won the Prince of Wales’ Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday ahead of Carlton House, the horse owned by Queen Elizabeth II.
It’s the 10th Group One victory for the six-year-old So You Think, trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by his son, Joseph.
He was narrowly beaten in the same race last year, but finished the 10-furlong race convincingly this time around.
“My horse relaxed lovely and quickened up very well,” jockey O’Brien said. “I just wanted to get him into a rhythm and get him relaxed, he has loads of class and can quicken and when things work out he’s an exceptional horse,” O’Brien said. “It’s been a great season and I’m very lucky to get to ride some exceptional horses.”
The Queen, who is celebrating the Diamond Jubilee to mark her 60-year reign, attended the five-day meet Wednesday.
Carlton House emerged on the far rail to launch a serious challenge, but So You Think saw him off, asserting himself close to home to win by two and a quarter lengths. Godolphin’s four-year-old colt, Farhh, finished third, half a length behind Carlton House. Michael Stoute, trainer of Carlton House, said the Queen’s horse gave a good performance and challenged the 4-5 favorite So You Think until the finish. “He couldn’t get enough cover as he was a bit off the fence but he was second best, it’s as simple as that,” Stoute said. “He had every chance but he just found one too good.”
The Queen has been to every Ascot meeting since 1945. She’s had 20 wins, with the last one in 2008, when Free Agent won the Chesham Stakes at the 300-year-old race meeting.
Aidan O’Brien’s globetrotting superstar gave first run to The Queen’s Carlton House, but produced a telling burst at the furlong pole to run out a two-and-a-quarter-length winner of the Group One heat. So You Think broke well in the ten-furlong event and Joseph O’Brien took up a position in third behind his pacemaker, Robin Hood.
Carlton House was viewed as the only real danger to 4/5 favourite So You Think and Ryan Moore tracked his big rival for much of the race, before setting his mount alight turning for home. Carlton House responded superbly by bursting through a gap and hitting the front. The burst of acceleration prompted O’Brien into action and he asked So You Think for maximum effort. The response was not immediate, but he hit top gear with a furlong to run and powered away in the final 100 yards, as Carlton House held off Farhh for second.
But So You Think, who was bred in New Zealand and formerly trained in Australia, proved too strong in the closing stages to claim the 10th Group One win of his career and take his career earnings past the £5m mark.
Aidan O’Brien’s brilliant run in the top races in England continued as Ishvana stuck on gamely to land the spoils in the Jersey Stakes.
O’Brien has mopped up all four Classics to date and the hot streak shows no signs of abating as Ishvana claimed the opening race on day two of Royal Ascot.
Sentaril and Aljamaheer were all the rage for the Group Three contest, but they were forced to settle for second and third respectively as Ishvana got first run in the hands of Seamus Heffernan on the far side group and it proved decisive.
Joviality repelled the late thrust of Chachamaidee to land the Windsor Forest Stakes for trainer John Gosden and jockey William Buick. Chachamaidee, a stablemate of the mighty Frankel, came with what appeared a telling run but the exertions of gifting her rivals five lengths at the start possibly proved decisive as she was run out of the prize close home by Joviality.
It means the Queen must wait for her 21st winner at the royal meeting, and her first Group One victory in Britain since Dunfermline won the St Leger in 1977, Silver Jubilee year.
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