So You Think (NZ) Scores Stunning Win in Irish Champion Stakes The kiwi bred So You Think (NZ) added another thrilling chapter to his growing list of international achievements on Sunday morning with a
stunning win in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes (2000m) at Leopardstown.
Backed into odds as short as 1-4, punters had high expectations that So You Think (NZ) (High Chaparral x Triassic) would take his eighth career Group 1 win - and his third for Aidan O'Brien - in the feature race of the meeting.
In a small field of six, the Irish 2000 Guineas winner Roderic O'Connor (Galileo) took up the pace in transit and on the home turn So You Think was poised under jockey Seamie Heffernan and took the lead at the top of the straight.
However, the four-time Group 1 winner Snow Fairy (Intikhab) was game and with a powerful turn of foot loomed up to So You Think in the straight with a serious challenge. But not one to shy from a fight, So You Think drew on his champion qualities and in a show of determination and sheer power, held
off her challenge to win the Irish Champion Stakes by three-quarters-of-a-length.
The victory not only secured So You Think's position as one of the best thoroughbreds in the world, it also sees his name added to a list which includes his sire High Chaparral (Sadler's Wells), Giant's Causeway (Storm Cat), Azamour (Night Shift), Dylan Thomas (Danehill), New Approach (Galileo) and Sea the Stars (Cape Cross), all of which have won the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes since 2000.
Clearly impressed by So You Think's performance, Aidan O'Brien was full of praise for the handsome son of High Chaparral who brought up his seventh victory in the race from the last 12 runnings.
"We knew he would be there to be shot at and Snow Fairy would stalk him, they had her spot on but So You Think was very professional when she put it up to him. He's getting more relaxed and mature and you could see that in the parade ring.
"We'll go home and discuss what we do next but he can do anything because he cruises through his races. He's an incredible specimen, big, powerful and an unbelievable thoroughbred to look at and we think he can take more racing so he's ready for a busy campaign."
Intent on not being rushed for a decision on So You Think, Aidan O'Brien refused to confirm where the champion will be headed next, though a trip back to Australia is looking more and more unlikely.
The Queen Elizabeth Stakes is set to be run at Ascot in October and connections have outlined that So You Think could face up against the mighty Frankel (Galileo) over the mile, with the 2000 metre Champion Stakes being held in the same meeting also a possibility.
With the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe also not being ruled out, So You Think's odds for the great race remain virtually unchanged as he vies for outright favouritism.
Bred in New Zealand, So You Think was purchased by prominent Australian bloodstock agent Duncan Ramage from Windsor Park Stud at the 2008 Karaka Premier Sale for NZ$110,000. His remarkable career has now seen him win over NZ$8 million in stakes.