O'Brien keeps options open
Published 02/08/2011 | 05:00
Aidan O'Brien was unwittingly the toast of Australian racing circles yesterday when he entered So You Think for this year's Cox Plate in Melbourne, WRITES JA McGRATH.
Nominations for the country's premier weight-for-age race have now closed. The nomination gives O'Brien yet another option to consider as he attempts to plot an autumn campaign with the horse which landed the Coral-Eclipse on his latest appearance.
Races such as the Irish Champion Stakes (September 3), the Qipco Champion Stakes (September 15), and possibly the Breeders' Cup (November 5), are more obvious first choices, although the Arc is a minor consideration.
The key factor in whether So You Think heads back to the southern hemisphere is the highly restrictive quarantine regulations, which demand that he must complete five weeks in isolation before mixing with other horses in Australia.
If So You Think were to run in the Cox Plate on October 22, he'd need to be in quarantine in Ireland around September 14, which would allow time for shipment to Melbourne.
The pivotal race for So You Think in Europe will be the Irish Champion Stakes. If he were to win he would, presumably, stay in the northern hemisphere. If he were to get beaten, then the Cox Plate could become the preferred option.
O'Brien has also entered Cape Blanco in the Cox Plate. (© Daily Telegraph)