Wednesday, 20 June 2012

So no Royal Celebrations Today…

So You Think ended dreams of a Royal winner on day two of the Royal Ascot meeting when the Australian-bred horse denied Carlton House success in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes today.

Although most of the watching crowd were disappointed not to see the Queen in the winner’s enclosure today, trainer Aidan O’Brien was obviously delighted with the outcome.

“So You Think was in danger of retiring a ‘nearly’ horse,” he said. “It has taken me a year and a half to learn how to train this horse – I just have to apologise to everyone in Australia for taking so long to get it right!

“But we listened to what we were told, and we changed the way we trained – we had been galloping him too much and too hard. He is all about speed and we were training that out of him.

“His work at home in the last month has been totally different. I am just delighted to have got him back to where Bart [Cummings] had him.”

It was a first Royal Ascot success for jockey Joseph O’Brien. Plans have not yet been made as to whether the horse will reappear at Sandown for the Eclipse before shipping to stud in Australia.
The Queen does have further chance this week: Momentary runs in the Ribblesdale Stakes tomorrow, while Estimate is entered later in the week.

So You Think’s win gave O’Brien a quick fire double on the card, having taken the opening Jersey Stakes (G3) with Ishvana for his wife Ann-Marie O’Brien, also breeder of the filly.

“Aidan doesn’t feel any more pressure when he is training one for me – he doesn’t listen to what I say anyway!” she laughed, adding that the filly will be kept to 7f for the time being but will probably step back up to a mile later in the year.

Joviality won the second on the card, the Windsor Forest Stakes (G2) for owner Princess Haya and trainer John Gosden, while trainer Tom Tate and jockey John Fahy achieved debut Royal Ascot successes in the Royal Hunt Cup with Prince of Johanne.

“He is a tough little horse and we are still finding out about him. The horse loves doing his own thing and his rider John Fahy is very intuitive and goes with him – he is a very good rider.”

The horse won the Cambridgeshire in the autumn and the double has not been done since 1949!

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