Eclipse swansong for So You Think


RACING:AIDAN O’BRIEN might like to hang on to him for longer but So You Think will have his final racecourse start in Saturday’s Eclipse before beginning a career as a stallion which has already seen him become a record-breaker.

Coolmore Stud’s Australian arm have announced the 10-time Group One winner will stand at a fee of Aus$66,000, almost €54,000, in the upcoming Southern Hemisphere breeding season, which begins in September.

That is a record first-season sire fee in Australia. And already a stellar book of top-class broodmares has been booked to visit the international star. This reportedly includes Merlene, winner of the hugely valuable two-year-old race, the Golden Slipper.

O’Brien has repeatedly said he would like to change the minds of the Coolmore hierarchy about retiring So You Think in the middle of the European season. But economics appear to have won out.

Duncan Ramage, racing manager to part-owner Dato Tan Chin Nam, told Australian media outlets So You Think will enter quarantine immediately after the Eclipse for which the son of High Chaparral is an odds-on favourite.

“There’s nothing on the racing calendar after the Eclipse that allows him enter quarantine at the required time that allows him be on the stallions’ plane to Australia,” he said. “All good things come to an end and this just means a new chapter in his life. He can’t keep going for ever. During his time with Coolmore he has enjoyed the best of care, the best facilities, and the best of time.”

High Chaparral will also be going down-under and will stand at a fee of $77,000, about €63,000 as will a number of other well-known European names, such as Dylan Thomas and Duke Of Marmalade.

In other Eclipse news yesterday the John Gosden King George winner Nathaniel was well backed with some firms and is now a 6 to 1 shot with Ladbrokes.

Akeed Mofeed made a belated start to his three-year-old career when fourth to Camelot in last Saturday’s Irish Derby.

But the John Oxx-trained colt is likely to make a quick reappearance according to Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Jaber Abdullah.

“We were not disappointed, we thought he’d need the race, but we thought he might have lasted a bit longer than he did,” said Raymond. “They were atrocious conditions and given it was his first run of the season it was asking a lot. He would go on soft ground but that was something else.”

He added: “We’ll bring him back to 10 furlongs I’d have thought, but where that will be I will leave to John. I’d imagine it will be either in a Listed race or a Group Three. We’ll see how he goes. We won’t wait too long with him, we’ve missed enough. He’ll probably go again in about three weeks.

“It was difficult for him. He had to go on about three out and that seemed to spark Light Heavy up as he looked beaten but got going again. There’s still a good chance he’s pretty useful.”

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