Talented gelding Ihtsahymn confirmed his status as the star of the 2013 Perth Summer Racing Carnival by recording his third straight win at Group level in the Group 2 Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Ihtsahymn went into the Cox Stakes as a clear favourite, after taking out the Group 2 W.A. Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m), and the victory never looked in doubt as jockey Steven Parham gave the three-year-old a lovely ride just off the pace.
Parnham asked Ihtsahymn for an extra effort when the field entered the straight and the son of Ihtiram showed his now trademark turn-of-foot to score a comfortable victory from an impressive Kincaple and a game Rohan.
Trainer Fred Kersley was thrilled to record another big race win with Ihtsahymn but refused to speculate on what the future may hold for the exciting galloper; with a tilt at the Group 2 WATC Derby (2400m) in April next year and a trip to the Eastern seaboard of Australia both possibilities according to the veteran trainer.
“I haven’t thought beyond today; I wanted to get through today first,” Kersley told the media after the race.
“I went into the race apprehensive because I wasn’t sure whether I was testing him a bit too much.
“The Derby is an option but his options here are limited.
“It’s very tough to win over east.”
There was plenty of supporting heading into the 2013 Cox Stakes for Luckygray, who was stepping up to 2100 metres for the first time in his career, but the Railway Stakes winner was never able to factor in the finish.
Jockey Shaun O’Donnell settled Luckygray in eighth position, about seven lengths behind the leader, and the Bradbury’s Luck gelding worked home fairly but could finish no closer than fifth, three lengths behind the winner.
Mr Moet had the chance to become the first horse since Tropical Chief in 1976 to win the Cox Stakes in back-to-back years but finished his summer campaign with another middling effort to finish sixth.
The Mosayter gelding was having his last start for trainer Adam Durrant and will now head to Sydney to begin preparations for the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival under the care of leading trainer Chris Waller.