So You Think's early workout
While many of his opponents in Saturday’s Mackinnon Stakes took centre stage at Breakfast with the Stars at Flemington, the brightest of all was already back home in his stall.
So You Think worked shortly after 4am (AEDT) on Tuesday with Bart Cummings opting to keep him away from the spotlight.
But that didn’t stop everyone talking about him with his second Cox Plate triumph on Saturday still fresh.
Cummings will decide after the Mackinnon (2000m) whether So You Think takes his place in the field for the Melbourne Cup three days later for which he is the equal favourite with last year’s winner Shocking.
Trainer Chris Waller, who will pit Metal Bender against the champion in both races, is among those in awe of So You Think.
“He is a freak,” Waller said.
“When I saw him before the Underwood Stakes, I knew then we were in trouble.
“He is a perfect machine that happens to be eligible for horse racing.”
Metal Bender, who ran third to So You Think in the Group One Underwood (1800m) three starts back, worked alone on the course proper and Waller was pleased with what he saw.
“He worked in good fashion,” he said.
“On paper we can’t beat So You Think but they are racehorses.
“So You Think had a tough run last week and might not be at his best.
“There is hope and there are no easy Group Ones for anyone.”
Darley head trainer Peter Snowden will avoid the Mackinnon with Purple, preferring to send the mare to the Lexus Stakes (2500m).
But that is a choice made for the mare’s best chance not to avoid So You Think who he says deserves the accolades he has received.
“It will be hard to top what he’s already done,” Snowden said.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained More Joyous took So You Think on in the Cox Plate but the effort took its toll and she is now in the spelling paddock.
Stablemate Descarado, winner of the Caulfield Cup, will take on So You Think in the Mackinnon and the Melbourne Cup if Cummings decides to press on with him.
“He is an outstanding horse, he toyed with the best weight-for-age field in the Cox Plate,” Waterhouse said.
And Waterhouse is not among those who question So You Think’s ability to run 3200 metres in the Cup, citing the amazing record of Cummings with 12 Cup trophies.
“He’s got the best bloke in Australia to train a horse for two miles,” she said.
“I might hand my three over for the last few days before the Cup.”
Anthony Cummings has hardy stayer Zavite in the Melbourne Cup and says if his father decides So You Think should go there, no-one should question whether he can stay the distance.
“I’ve learnt it’s a waste of time over 30 years and I’m not going to start now,” he said.