From Germany to Melbourne and into So Si Bon's heart

From Germany to Melbourne and into So Si Bon's heart

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Christin Schotten has some story to tell. From Germany to Flemington via the United Kingdom, she is now calling Australia home and it is all thanks to one horse - So Si Bon, who has a special place in her heart.

A battler with eight career wins to his name, the Ben & JD Hayes-trained So Si Bon needs little introduction to racing fans. After all he is a Group 3 winner of the Aurie's Star at Flemington and has been a regular in Saturday features and Group 1 contest.

But who is the blonde strapper regular by So Si Bon's side? That would be 25-year-old German Schotten who has made Australia her home and made the horse her best friend. Would she be here without him? Perhaps not.

It was by chance that their paths crossed after So Si Bon began his career with trainer Robbie Laing and contested the likes of the Caulfield Guineas, VRC Derby and Sandown Classic as a three-year-old.

After placing in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas, So Si Bon was transferred to Lindsay Park Racing and that is where he has formed his special bond with Schotten.

"When he first came to Lindsay Park, he was a naughty little entire, you just could not miss him," Schotten said in a recent interview with Bets.com.au.

"He would call out and make sure that everyone knew that he was present, whether it be at the stables or at the races. He was just always putting on a big show."

As first impressions go, So Si Bon probably wasn't the endearing type. But the love and relationship he has built up with Schotten has been as much as part of his story as any of his 67 appearances on the racetrack.

Who can forget the pair drowning in the rain after So Si Bon's shock victory in the Aurie's Star on a rain-hit Melbourne Day.

Schotten's love of horses began at home in Germany riding ponies and taking part in dressage events. At the age of 12 her attentions turned to racehorses and thoroughbreds. By the age of 15, she was race riding.

Back in 2015, Schotten made a first foray to these shores as he briefly worked for Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra. That led to a stint with the powerful Godolphin stable in Newmarket and here in Australia.

From there she landed a job with Lindsay Park Euroa with farm work her real task. It was then that she formed this special bond the Bon Bon, as she calls him, that burns as brightly today as the day they first set eyes on one another.

"He is so beautiful now and you cannot look away," Schotten said of the now gelding. "Bon Bon just catches your eye. He has such a spunky personality and that's what got me.

"He loves the attention, whether it's me or someone walking into the stable. People come up to him at the races, so I take him out so they can pat him and he loves it. He is just such a loving horse.

"I love the funny face he pulls when you give him head scratches. He almost smiles and it's quite funny."

At Caulfield on Saturday, So Si Bon will make his 68th career start when he lines up in the Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m).

Could there be another win in the tank and another chapter in the story of Bon Bon and his young German beau?