So You Think won’t get the chance to emulate Kingston Town’s Cox Plate three-peat after leading Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien opted to miss Moonee Valley’s signature race with the star galloper.
The five-year-old, who won Australasia’s weight-for-age championship (2040m) at Moonee Valley the past two years when prepared by master trainer Bart Cummings, was not among first declarations for the $3 million race which closed on Tuesday.
Stablemate Cape Blanco, winner of the Arlington Million last month, was also not paid up for.
That leaves only 2010 Melbourne Cup hero Americain and the Luca Cumani-trained Sahara Sun as northern hemisphere-prepared horses among the first acceptors for the October 22 feature.
There were 96 first declarations – up seven on last year – but they don’t include five-time Group One winner More Joyous who finished fifth in the race last year.
But trainer Gai Waterhouse still has five horses in the race – reigning Caulfield Cup winner Descarado, Fast Clip, More Strawberries, Older Than Time and Once Were Wild.
Cummings’ chances of landing a sixth Cox Plate are with European import Illo, Moonee Valley Cup winner Precedence and three-year-olds Do You Think and Polish.
Cox Plate favourite Whobegotyou, third last year, remains on track for another crack at the race with Mark Kavanagh-trained stablemates December Draw and Midnight Martini also paid up for.
Chris Waller’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner My Kingdom Of Fife, the Mike Moroney-trained Glass Harmonium, Kiwi gun Jimmy Choux, classy Peter Moody-trained mares King’s Rose and Lights Of Heaven and boom three-year-olds Smart Missile and Helmet all remain in the race.
Waterhouse declared her intentions with Descarado by not paying up for him as a first declaration for the $2.5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) run on October 15.
A total of 117 horses were paid up for in the Caulfield Cup – an increase of eight on last year – including eight internationally-trained runners, half of which are trained by Cumani.
Sahara Sun, this year’s Chilean Derby runner-up who will make his European debut at Doncaster on Wednesday night, is entered along with stablemates Manighar, Bauer and Drunken Sailor.
Internationals paid up for in the Caulfield Cup included Americain, the John Moore-trained Mighty High who is scheduled to arrive from Hong Kong on Tuesday, the Mikel Delzangles-prepared Dunaden and Brian Ellison’s Saptapadi.
Melbourne Cup runner-up Maluckyday, Victoria Derby winner Lion Tamer, Kingston Town Classic winner Playing God and AJC Australian Derby winner Shamrocker and Queensland Oaks victor Scarlett Lady all remain in the Caulfield Cup.