Article Date: 21-June-2012
An Irish treble by Ishvana, So You Think and Duntle at Royal Ascot on Wednesday brought the total number of Irish winners at the meeting to five after just two days.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien blamed himself for not getting the best out of So You Think earlier after the former Australian superstar looked back to his very best when winning the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes by two and a quarter lengths from Carlton House.
“We felt that we had this horse in a place that he had never been before with us,” said O’Brien. “We have had him a year and a half and it has taken me a year and a half to learn how to train him. We’re just pleased to now have him in the place where everyone in Australia said he was.
“I was probably working him too often, too long and too hard. I was killing him by making him grind but even so he was still very competitive.
“We went back, we listened to everybody, including all the interviews, and what Bart (Cummings) was saying in Australia about him - the things to do and the things not to do.
“It is often a hard thing. We knew that we only had a few runs left and we knew that he had run in all the top races but there was just that little thing missing. We knew that we only had maybe today and Sandown to get it back, so we listened. Joseph and the lads were confident that it was going to come but you can’t be confident until it comes.
“The boys will talk about (the Coral-Eclipse at) Sandown and they will make the decision. We had in our head that Sandown would be the cut-off point but we will obviously be pleading now that we have him in a different place. It will be a big business decision but we are just delighted that we have got him back to where Bart had him and what all of the people in Australia said he was."
So You Think has been advertised for a fee of A$66,000 for the 2012 southern hemisphere breeding season at Coolmore Australia and part-owner John Magnier said: “He looks a picture and is a horse that travels all over the world. He won three Group 1s last year, two this season and 10 overall so I say to people what more could you want? It’s hard to work in two hemispheres, they are completely different environments.
“Aidan’s been happier with this horse this year than he has ever been I think the Eclipse will be next and the plan will be to go to Australia after that, he’s probably done enough racing after that.”
Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up Ishvana was saddled by Aidan O’Brien to land the opening Jersey Stakes at 20/1 in the colours of his wife, and the filly’s breeder, Annemarie.
It was not the only breeding success for the O’Briens at Royal Ascot, they jointly bred 2002 St James’s Palace Stakes winner Rock Of Gibraltar, but it was the first in Annemarie’s colours.
The O’Briens keep their mares in partnership with Annemarie’s father Joe Crowley at Piltown Stud in Co Kilkenny.
“I’d like to thank my dad, who has picked out all of our broodmares, and we are really thrilled,” said Annemarie O’Brien.”I am so happy to be here and she was very impressive. She showed a great turn of foot and I think that seven furlongs suited her perfectly today.
“We have a yearling full-brother to Ishvana at home and a filly foal by Fastnet Rock.”
Aidan O’Brien added: “It means a lot to everyone at home and Annemarie’s dad bought the dam and everybody who rears them at home plays their part.
“Ishvana had a very good run at the Curragh last time and she is a smart filly who loves fast ground. She has plenty of speed, travels well and got a mile well on her latest start. She’s a legitimate filly now for a lot of the big races.
“Seamus gave her a great ride and the lads have done a great job with her at home, so I am very grateful to everybody.
“We don’t work our fillies together and you will see a pecking order as it goes along on the track. Hopefully, it will start showing itself shortly.
Seamie Heffernan, who rode his first British classic winner on Was in the Epsom Oaks earlier this month, enjoyed his first Royal Ascot winner with a well judged ride on Ishvana.
Hefferenan produced his mount inside the final two furlongs and drove her out for a length success over William Haggas’ Sentaril, with the Roger Varian trained Aljamaaheer a short-head behind in third.
Heffernan said: “It was extremely straightforward. She had a good run in the Irish 1000 Guineas and she handles fast ground. It took her a while to loosen up but, once I got to the outside and she loosened up, she wanted to go through so I let her smooch on.
“Aidan’s fillies can get better - I don’t know what he does to them. Some of them can be no good and then they start improving.
Heffernan received a seven-day ban for his use of the whip on Ishvana.
The David Wachman-trained Duntle brought a fifth success for Ireland in 12 races so far at Royal Ascot this year when landing a gamble to take the concluding Sandringham Handicap in the colours of the Niarchos family.
“She always showed plenty as a two-year-old but we only got one run into her. She then won very easily on her comeback at Dundalk this season,” said Wachman of the 4/1 favourite.
“She then ran in the Guineas trial at Leopardstown when she had to dispute the lead and finished fourth. We always thought a lot of her and talked about going for the Irish Guineas but decided to wait for this.
“She is tailor-made for American racing and I am sure she will end up out there at some stage but I don’t know when that will be. She has plenty of entries here so we will discuss it.”
Duntle was a second Royal Ascot winner for jockey Wayne Lordan, who was on board Tommy Stack's winner Lolly For Dolly last year.
William Haggas, whose Sentaril was a close second to Ishvana in Wednesday's opener, also supplied the runner-up here in the shape of 12/1 chance Arsaadi. Richard Fahey's Lad's First was third.
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