Thursday, 21 June 2012
Trainer Aidan O'Brien's admission he had got it wrong with So You Think
until now has been met with a hearty and knowing chuckle from Bart Cummings.
The master trainer, who prepared So You Think
to win two Cox Plates, stopped short of saying "I told you so" but was happy to see the horse back to his free running best to win the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.So You Think
went into the race with four European Group One victories under O'Brien but also some near misses which had critics questioning why Australians had labelled him a champion.
"Apology accepted. I'd like to congratulate him," Cummings said of O'Brien.
"He's a slow learner and I'm glad he picked up at the finish."
Indeed, O'Brien conceded he and the team at Ballydoyle had been slow in working out So You Think
, eventually going back to basics.
"I think we've had him a year-and-a-half and it's taken me that long to learn how to train him," he said.
"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 was saying and telling us what to do and what not to do. We listened at the end.
"The thing was, I knew Bart had been doing a better job than me. You have to learn."
After So You Think
's second Cox Plate win in 2010, owner Dato Tan Chin Nam sold a controlling interest in the horse to Coolmore
for a reported $30 million, denying Cummings the chance to train him for a third Cox Plate.
Cummings waited until Thursday morning to watch a replay of the Royal Ascot race and was pleased with what he saw, even down to the familiar flowing forelock which had previously been trimmed to pretty the horse up in the European style.
"He won easily enough," he said.
"They used his speed right and he's even got his good looks back again."
A decision on whether So You Think
has one final race before he is retired will be made in the next couple of weeks.
He is due to enter quarantine in July in preparation for the Australian breeding season which begins in September.
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