This week’s LET IT RIDE.COM HOT TOPIC comes from Michael Manley and Tim Habel of Melbourne Herald-Sun…take a read and VOICE AN OPINION!
BART CUMMINGS EYES MELBOURNE CUP WITH ‘SO YOU THINK’ AFTER DOMINANT COX PLATE VICTORY
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Racing Victoria Limited chief handicapper Greg Carpenter described So You Think as the “horse of the generation” following his emphatic Cox Plate win, which triggered bookmakers to promote Bart Cummings’ superstar to a clear Melbourne Cup favourite.
And, given the hype behind So You Think, plus the Cummings factor, bookmakers are bracing for the dual Cox Plate winner to be the hottest Cup favourite in almost 40 years.
Tab Sportsbet installed So You Think as $3.20 favourite for the $6 million Emirates Melbourne Cup.
New Zealander Veandercross started $3.20 favourite when second behind Subzero in the 1992 Melbourne Cup, while Gay Icarus, in 1971, was the shortest priced modern day Cup favourite at $2.75.
Cummings sounded an ominous warning about So You Think providing him with a 13th Melbourne Cup when he declared: “He’s getting fitter and he’s getting better.”
Asked if it was a concern So You Think, who has never raced beyond the Cox Plate distance of 2040m, backing up from the Mackinnon Stakes to the Melbourne Cup, Cummings shook his head and said: “Not the way we feed them”. When it was noted that So You Think had not run over his designated 10,000m before the Melbourne Cup, Cummings replied: “How short is he?”
Told that So You Think would be 760m shy if he raced in the Mackinnon, Cummings said: “He’s good enough to overcome it.”
The 83-year-old trainer posted Group I win No.263 on Saturday when So You Think lived up to his superstar rating to crush his rivals in the $3 million Tatts Cox Plate over 2040m.
The standing ovation from the rapturous Moonee Valley crowd was as much in reverence for Cummings as his great galloper.
While many mused So You Think was one of the all-time great Cox Plate winners, Cummings wasn’t even into comparisons with his own previous four winners or past greats. “It would be degrading to them,” he said.
Suffice to say, So You Think is fast making ground on Saintly, the “horse from heaven” that he bred and trained to win the Cox Plate-Melbourne Cup double in 1996.
Cummings said if So You Think was to attempt to win the 150th Melbourne Cup he would run in the Group I Mackinnon Stakes on Saturday.
“It will relax him. He needs a look at Flemington, the last time he was there (Glen) Boss went berserk on him,” he said.
Cummings was referring to the Emirates Stakes last spring when Boss led on So You Think before finishing second to All American.
Meanwhile, Carpenter said So You Think had eclipsed, in his mind, another dual Cox Plate winner Northerly and Makybe Diva as the best Cox Plate winner he’d seen.
“Everyone knows I was a wonderful fan of Northerly and I don’t like comparing champions, (but) he deserves to be put in absolute elite company,” Carpenter said.
“He’s the horse of the generation. (The) second and third horses were really brave, but he put the race beyond doubt and they made up late ground.”
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