An eastern states campaign is on the cards for Ihtsahymn after the three year old took out the Group 1 $500,000 TAB Touch – Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
Trainer Fred Kersley is considering a trip to the east coast and Ihtsahymn could follow in the footsteps of the Perth trainer’s champion weight for age performer Northerly who conquered the best in the nation with successive wins in 2001, 2002 Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley among his nine Group 1 victories.
Kersley hasn’t mapped out an Autumn Carnival program for the three year old yet but is keen to take on the best after Ihtsahymn was able to win at his first attempt at weight for age.
“I’m tempted. I have fond memories of some races in Melbourne,” Kersley told the West Australian.
Kersley wasn’t frightened to take on the top class horses in the Kingston Town Classic after Ihtsahymn scored a sensational win in the Group 2 $400,000 Sky Racing-W.A. Guineas (1600m) at Ascot on November 23.
The W.A. Guineas win forced jockey Steven Parnham to dump his long time mate Playing God for the younger galloper and the decision proved the right one.
Parnham knew what it took to win the W.A. Guineas- Kingston Town Classic double after riding Playing God to win both races in 2010 for his father Neville Parnham.
Playing God then went on to win his second Kingston Town Classic for Parnham the following year with the six year old finishing a courageous fourth this year with Paul Harvey in the saddle.
The race panned out the way Parnham had predicted and he was able to use Ihtsahymn’s massive weight advantage and shot to the front on the home turn forcing the higher weighted horses to chase hard from back in the field.
The task proved too much for the crowd favourite Luckygray ($3) who made up plenty of lengths over the concluding stages to fail by less than after a length with Rohan ($21) holding on for third just in front of Playing God ($8) who was forced into the pacemaker roll when the speed slackened in the middle stages.
But Parnham’s decision to stick with Ihtsahymn ($4.20) proved the top local jockey right and he was rewarded with his third Kingston Town Classic trophy.
“It was great effort by the horse,” Steve Parnham said.
“He has taken a bit to mature and the blinkers switched him on.
“I’m very proud to win two Kingston Towns for Dad and one for Mr Kersley.
“It was an extremely tough decision and in the end I went for youth.”
Ihtsahymn is among the early nominations for the Group 2 $250,000 LD Total – C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot on December 21 but Kerlsey hasn’t committed to a start for his star three year old.