Monday 18 December 2017

So You Think denies Queen as O'Brien lands double

James Maxwell

AIDAN O'Brien dashed English hopes of a big Royal Ascot winner for the Queen in the year of the Diamond Jubilee as So You Think got the better of Carlton House in the 150th Anniversary of Prince Of Wales's Stakes.

In the Queen's familiar colours, Carlton House had every chance when delivered by Ryan Moore over a furlong from home, but had no answer to the thrust of So You Think, which gave Joseph O'Brien his first winner at the fixture.

It proved to be sweet revenge for So You Think as he was pipped by Rewilding in a thrilling renewal 12 months ago. O'Brien revealed he had jettisoned his previous training regime, adding the 4/5 favourite may have only one more race as the son of High Chaparral is to return to Australia for stallion duties.

"I think we've had him a year and a half and it's taken me that long to learn how to train him," said O'Brien. "We were working him too long, too hard and too often. It was as simple as that. We went back and listened to what everybody was saying about him, listened to what Bart (Cummings) was saying and telling us what to do and what not to do. We listened in the end.

mess

"We're just delighted to get him back and all I can say is sorry it took me so long to get him back to where everyone in Australia said he was. If he wasn't such a great horse, I'd have made a right mess of him."

So You Think's win completed a 37/1 O'Brien double as the Ballydoyle supremo was earlier on the mark in the Jersey Stakes with outsider Ishvanna (20/1).

Seamie Heffernan sent his mount -- running in the colours of the trainer's wife Anne-Marie -- to the front passing the two-furlong marker and she galloped all the way to the line to score by a length from Johnny Murtagh's mount Sentaril.

However, it was not a good race for the visiting jockeys as Heffernan was suspended for seven days (July 4-10) and fined £550 for using his whip above the permitted level, while Murtagh was was given a two-day ban on the runner-up. Galway native John Fahy was hit with a similar ban -- and a £1,100 fine -- after guiding Prince of Johanne, to victory in the Royal Hunt Cup

A third Irish winner came in the closing Sandringham Handicap as David Wachman's Duntle (Wayne Lordan) held off Alsaadi.

"After she ran very well in the Leopardstown fillies' trial we decided to wait for this. We've always thought a lot of her," said Wachman. "She's likely to finish her career in America. We're not sure when and I'm sure she'll do great things over there."

Irish Independent

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