New trainer Patrick Payne has revealed that Group 1 winner Ihtsahymn could make his Melbourne racing debut in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on August 8.
Ihtsahymn joined the Payne stable after he was sent to the spelling paddock following a poor effort in the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot on New Year’s Day, but he missed out on a 2015 Melbourne Festival Of Racing campaign after he had a few minor issues.
The Ihtiram gelding has now been back in work for almost a month and Payne told Racing.com yesterday that the long break from racing may have been the best thing for Ihtsahymn and he confirmed that the Aurie’s Star Handicap was one option for the rising five-year-old at Flemington next month.
He came over and we had a little bit of trouble with him and we put him out and he’s come back and blossomed,” Payne said.
“I’m really glad we gave him a freshen up.
“Fred Kersley and the owners are really patient, so they said stop and start again.
“I’m really glad we did because he’s going so much better this time than last time.
“He’ll run on the 8th of August in the Aurie’s Star or the 1400-metre race and we’ll work out what we do after that.”
Ihtsahymn made his racing debut under the care of Fred Kersley in March of 2013 and he stamped himself as one of the most promising three-year-olds in Australia when he took all before him during the 2013 Perth Summer Racing Carnival.
He started his summer campaign with a seventh place finish in the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m) on October 19 and he was flat again in the Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m) before he recorded the biggest win of his racing career to date in the Group 2 Western Australian Guineas (1600m) at Ascot on November 23.
Ihtsahymn took on the older horses for the first time in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on December 7 and he held-off a fast-finishing Luckygray to record a maiden win at the highest level of racing before he proved that win was no fluke when he took out the Group 2 Cox Stakes (2100m) on December 21.
The gelding was unable to replicate that form during the 2014 Perth Summer Racing Carnival and he missed the placings in the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m), Group 2 Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m), Kingston Town Classic, Cox Stakes and Perth Cup.