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So You Think set for last hurrah

2 Jul 2012

The brilliant six-year-old, who was one of Australia's best ever middle distance horses before moving to Ireland to join Aidan O'Brien's stable before the start of last season, is one of 15 entries for Saturday's Coral-Eclipse Stakes.

Saturday’s Coral-Eclipse could be the last racecourse appearance for So You Think, seen here defeating Workforce in the race 12 months ago.  Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

So You Think heads a stellar, 15-strong entry for Saturday’s Sandown Park spectacular, the Coral-Eclipse Stakes, race 16 in the QIPCO British Champions Series and race four in the Middle Distance division.

It is likely to be a last ever racecourse appearance for the Aidan O’Brien-trained, ex-Australian star who won this race last year prior to running second in the QIPCO Champion Stakes. Stallion duties now beckon for the six-year-old.

He showed his brilliance two weeks ago when winning the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, finding a telling turn of foot to beat Carlton House by two and a quarter lengths, with Farhh half a length further back in third.

Whilst Carlton House does not re-oppose on Saturday in the mile-and-a-quarter contest, the fast-improving Godolphin colt, Farhh, does.

He met trouble in running in the Prince of Wales’s and was never nearer than at the finish.

Though not originally entered for the Coral-Eclipse, he has been supplemented at a cost of £30,000.

If the lightly raced, Saeed bin Suroor-trained four-year-old continues to improve, he could pose a real threat to his Ascot conqueror.

Another strong contender is Nathaniel, who won last year’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes over a mile and a half and followed that with a fine fifth, two and a half lengths behind So You Think, in the QIPCO Champion Stakes on ground that would have been plenty quick enough for him.

With some cut in the ground quite likely for Saturday, Nathaniel could have a big say if cherry ripe for his first run of the season.

Others to take the eye include this year’s Dubai World Cup winner, Monterosso, owned like Farhh by Godolphin, and the evergreen seven-year-old Twice Over, who won the 2010 Coral-Eclipse and also landed last year’s Juddmonte International for trainer Sir Henry Cecil.

Other winners at the top level include the Dubai Duty Free winner, Cityscape, who could have a big impact in the race if he gets the trip, and the ex-Italian star, Crackerjack King, now trained in Newmarket by Marco Botti.

There are also three three-year-olds who have stood their ground in the first middle distance race of the year in which the classic generation can take on their elders.

They are Bonfire, the Andrew Balding-trained Betfred Dante Stakes winner who failed to act on the undulating Epsom track and did not stay a mile and a half when down the field in the Investec Derby, Brian Meehan’s highly regarded Cogito, and Aidan O’Brien’s UAE Derby winner, Daddy Long Legs.

Get along to Sandown Park on Saturday if you possibly can – this great race promises to be a cracker!