So You Think could be set for a mouthwatering clash with last year’s Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe hero Workforce after making a successful European debut.
Five times a Group One winner for legendary handler Bart Cummings in Australia, So You Think switched to the care of Aidan O’Brien after the Coolmore team snapped up a controlling interest in the son of High Chaparral.
O’Brien opted to kick off the five-year-old’s campaign in the aptly-named High Chaparral EBF Mooresbridge Stakes over 10 furlongs at the Curragh and So You Think made light work of his rivals.
Sent off the 2-13 favourite, he settled nicely in third for Seamie Heffernan as stablemate Windsor Palace put the pace to the race before drawing 10 lengths clear without being hard ridden in the finish.
O’Brien is now eyeing a crack at the Tattersalls Gold Cup for his star, a race which has also been slated as a possible starting point for the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Workforce.
“He’s an incredible horse and we feel privileged to have him,” said O’Brien.
“He didn’t do much between his racecourse gallop here last month and today and he only needs to do half-speeds at home. He was just ready to come racing.
“He came to Ireland with the most unbelievable reputation and is a real product of Australian breeding, training and racing.
“We heard all the things about how unbelievable he was and when you see him, you can believe it.
“We’ve had some good horses from Australia, Starspangledbanner and Haradasun, but when this fellow walked through the door, we’ve never experienced anything like it. He’s unique.
“He went through the line like he was going to the start.
“He seems to go so easily in his races that he could either go up or even step back in trip, but his most likely next race is the Tattersalls Gold Cup here on May 22.”
O’Brien also won the opening Alfred Nobel EBF Maiden with impressive newcomer Power.
Backed from 13-2 into 3-1, he had obviously been working nicely at Ballydoyle and came home two lengths clear of Remember Alexander.
“Power is a sharp, mature type and is a lovely, big, honest horse,” said O’Brien.
“He behaved very well and may be an Ascot horse later in the summer.”
John Oxx has made a fine start to the new season and in Emiyna (5-2 favourite) he has a filly with Classic pretensions.
She just held off the game Lolly For Dolly in the Starspangledbanner EBF Athasi Stakes, denying Tommy Stack’s filly back-to-back wins in the Group Three.
“I’m delighted with that as she is a good filly and will run next in the Irish 1000 Guineas, all going well,” said Oxx.
“She has lots of stamina on her dam’s side but is not a stayer herself as she has plenty of speed.
“She needs to keep improving now and was a little green when she hit the front.”
Oxx and Murtagh also teamed up with Dance Secretary (6-4 favourite) in the P.G. Duffy & Sons Mazda Maiden while Murtagh won the Newbridge Credit Union Handicap on the Ger Lyons-trained Casbah Rock (11-4 favourite)
Oxx was denied in the Dylan Thomas EBF Tetrach Stakes when his Zabarajad was edged out by Imperial Rome (6-4 favourite).
The David Wachman-trained winner is improving quickly and was following up a win at Dundalk.
“Imperial Rome quickened well and should step forward from that. He’ll go for the French Guineas next,” said Wachman.