Ihtsahymn flew home from the back of the field to win the Group 2 Western Australian Guineas (1600m) in impressive fashion at Ascot this afternoon.
The Simon Miller-trained duo of Miss Rose De Lago and Saint Bro looked as though they were going to quinella the race but Ihtsahymn found clear running with 150 metres left to run and flashed down the outside to give trainer Fred Kersley his second victory in the W.A. Guineas.
Kersley, who prepared Western Australian champion Northerly, has always had a high opinion of the son of Ihtiram but admitted that he did not believe that the three-year-old was going to win when he was caught in traffic at the 200 metre mark.
“He was in a lot of traffic and a lot of trouble for most of the race,” Kersley said.
“He really didn’t get a clear run until 150 out and I thought that it was too late to be honest and I thought that he was giving them too much start.
“His strength came to the fore in the end and his finishing effort was great.”
Ihtsahymn finished outside the placings in the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m) and Listed Fairthea Stakes (1400m) and Kersley believes that the impressive gelding relished the extra ground in the W.A. Guineas; indicating that he believes Ihtsahymn will be even better when he gets a chance over more ground.
“He has been unlucky this time in and in the shorter races he has been caught in traffic,” Kersley said.
“He is probably still in development, he is a tall horse that doesn’t handle the hustle and bustle, but once he gets into the clear he is a very good horse.”
Owner Neville Duncan, of Northerly fame, bred Ihtsahymn himself, out of Umatune, and like Kersley believes that the Group 2 winner will relish the step-up to 1800 metres and beyond before the end of the 2013 Perth Summer Racing Carnival.
“It is a fantastic thrill,” Duncan said.
“We set him for this race after his 1600 metre race six months ago, we had a lot of doubters, and in the run today he was clattered up and that wasn’t good.
“He is looking for 2000, we thought that 1600 metres might be too short, but that is what helped him today.
“A couple of weeks’ time over 1800 metres might be interesting.”
The Listed Aquanita Stakes (1800m) for three-year-olds is the likely next assignment for Ihtsahymn but connections may opt to throw him in the deep end at Group 1 level in the Kingston Town Classic (1800m).