So You Think confirmed his billing as Australian racing’s hottest property with an arrogant victory in the $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
The four-year-old entire franked his reputation as a freak and with it raced his way back into favouritism for the 150th Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on Tuesday.
He is on target for the best Spring Racing Carnival since Rising Fast cut a swath through Melbourne’s premier races in 1954.
The dual Tatts Cox Plate winner sat third and fourth with cover before exploding away from his rivals at the 200-metre mark to win his fifth Group 1 at just his 11th start.
The victory would have brought a smile to his Hall of Fame trainer, 82-year-old Bart Cummings, who is recuperating from a respiratory problem in Melbourne’s Epworth Hospital.
Second across the line, some 3.8 lengths in arrears, was BMW Caulfield Cup winner Descarado ($13) who led and provided something for the weight-for-age field to chase.
Filling third place was Kiwi visitor Ginga Dude ($18) who denied Shoot Out ($11) in a photo, with defending Melbourne Cup champion Shocking ($6) finishing sixth on what was a slow track.
Cummings’ Melbourne foreman Reg Fleming was shaking his head in amazement at the deeds of So You Think.
“He amazes me this horse, I don’t know what he can do,” he said. “He’s won rain, hail or shine it doesn’t seem to matter to him.
“You like to see them hitting the line really good and today he did that.”
Fleming was adamant the horse would have no problem backing up in the Melbourne Cup – his first assignment beyond 2040 metres.
“He’s a good doer, strong horse, I don’t think it will be a problem,” he said.
Winning jockey Steve Arnold was also in awe of So You Think and whilst he still has some lingering doubts about the two miles of the Melbourne Cup he said today gave him greater confidence.
“I’m a little bit concerned about the two miles and probably still am but that was a real positive today. He relaxed so well and was so strong late. I reckon today was a real positive,” he said.
“He seems to have pulled up great. He’s pulled up super in himself, he was jumping around coming in so I don’t think it’s hurt him too much.”
Arnold said he let the horse stride out under his steam from the gate and tried to nurse him to the 400-metre mark before unleashing his withering sprint.
“I didn’t want to restrain him from the stalls and get him cranky early on so I let him stride a little bit through the first furlong and then he got a nice rhythm and let a couple go and he just cantered in the run,” he explained.
“I only wanted to go down the last two (furlongs, 400m) strong, but those weight-for-age races they’ve been making it a bit of a test because he’s the best horse.
“Today I just wanted to wait a bit longer and he actually had a look around at the furlong, he’s an awesome horse.”