So You Think the Cup favourite

So You Think is the new favourite for the Melbourne Cup despite not being qualified for Australia’s most famous race.

The Bart Cummings-trained four-year-old cruised to his third win this spring in Saturday’s Group One Yalumba Stakes at Caulfield to tighten his grip on his defence of the Cox Plate.

He is now odds-on to become the first horse win back to back Cox Plates at three and four.

So You Think needs to run in the first three in the Cox Plate to gain a start in the Melbourne Cup (3200m).

Owner Dato Tan Chin Nam’s racing manager Duncan Ramage said no decision would be made on a Cup start until after the Cox Plate on October 23.

“He’s been paid up for the Cup all along but we will get the Cox Plate out of the way first,” Ramage said.

Six horses have completed the double including the Cummings-trained Saintly in 1996.

Saintly also carried Dato Tan’s distinctive yellow with black and white checks.

So Yo Think was at $6.50 with TAB Sportsbet on Sunday for the Melbourne Cup ahead of last year’s winner Shocking with Linton and Alcopop next at $12.

Alcopop, who finished sixth in the 2009 Cup as favourite, put in his best performance for 12 months when second in the Yalumba.

At the corresponding meeting last year, Alcopop won the Herbert Power Handicap (2400m) with Linton the winner this time around.

His Yalumba second propelled Alcopop to the top of the market for next week’s Caulfield Cup at $5.50 ahead of Herculian Prince at $6.50.

The two are just outside the 18-horse field but both are expected to get a run with C’est Le Guerre and Once Were Wild doubtful.

Saturday’s Toorak Handicap winner More Joyous showed she was the worthy challenger to So You Think in the Cox Plate and her price was cut to $6.

So You Think’s Yalumba win took Cummings’ Group One tally to 262 with the master trainer expected to make a return to the track on Cox Plate day after fracturing his pelvis in a recent fall.