One of racing’s most enduring partnerships was left to wonder what might have been when Do You Think kept his unbeaten record at Rosehill on Saturday.
Do You Think, trained by Bart Cummings and raced by his long-time friend Dato Tan Chin Nam, gained an emphatic consolation win for missing out on a Golden Slipper start with his Group Three victory in The Schweppervescence (1400m).
“I think he would have run a good race in the Slipper, no doubt about that,” Cummings said.
“Never mind, a win’s a win and I think he’s got a good future.”
Do You Think, a Starcraft colt who cost $350,000 as a yearling, was left out of the Slipper field when his prizemoney earnings fell short of the top 16 who made the field for the $3.5 million race.
Ironically, one of the final spots in the famous race was taken by stablemate Empress Rock, a filly Cummings and Dato Tan bred – and now race – together.
Dato Tan was trackside at Rosehill and like Cummings he was ruing Do You Think’s absence from the Golden Slipper.
“He’s a good horse … it’s a pity he couldn’t run in the Slipper but I hope he can win the Sires or the Champagne,” he said.
Dato Tan has been one of Australian racing’s luckiest owners with numerous major wins including the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate but the Golden Slipper has been an elusive race.
Cummings said he still had his sights set on Group One glory during the Sydney carnival with Do You Think.
The Sires’ Produce Stakes and the Champagne Stakes complete the autumn triple crown for two-year-olds and the master trainer will weigh up options for both races.
“The Sires (next week) might be a bit quick but we’ll have a think about it,” Cummings said.
Do You Think, an easing favourite at $2.40, raced with a perfect trail in fourth spot before issuing his challenge soon after straightening.
He soon posted a margin on his rivals before holding off the fast-finishing Cocky Raider ($26) to win by a length.
Satirical Boy ($10) was a neck away third.
Jockey Hugh Bowman said Do You Think, who went into Saturday’s race after a first-up win under lights at Canterbury last month, had a bright future.
“I think he is a horse who is going places,” he said.
“When I let him go he sprinted well.”
Cummings and Dato Tan almost made it a race-to-race double when I Think I Do raced into AJC Australian Derby contention with his Tulloch Stakes placing.
I Think I Do finished second to Fast Clip in a timely return to form ahead of next week’s blue-riband Classic at Randwick.