Ihtsahymn Skips Spring in Favour of 2014 Railway Stakes

Fred Kersley’s Perth-based three-year-old Ihtsahymn will stay at home this coming spring – summer season and target the Railway Stakes 2014 over a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival raid.

A winner of seven of their 14 starts to date for over $1 million in prize money, the promising galloper certainly has the makings of a spring type to watch.

Kersley however wants to give the improver one more season to mature and enjoy the spoils at Ascot Racecourse over the warmer months before stepping them up to Melbourne class.

“He’s still yet to really prove himself for mine,” Kersley told Racing Victoria.

Last Perth Summer Racing Carnival Ihtsahymn made a name for himself winning three Group races on the trot.

Their maiden Group assignment was successful in the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m), but their next run was the icing on the cake when beating home star older rivals Luckygray (2nd), Rohan (3rd) and Playing God (4th) in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).

They then rounded out their hat trick in the Group 2 CB Cox Stakes (2100m) when handling another step up in distance.

Kersley though is more of a realist than a dreamer and was quick to point out the advantages his horse had in the Kingston Town Classic especially.

“He’s had the luxury of weight relief in most of the races that he’s contested this year which would disappear when he turns four,” he said.

“I mean, if you can beat Luckygray with a seven-kilo pull in the weights, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a better horse than Luckygray.

“The fact that he can beat those horses with a pull in the weights has not convinced me that he’s up to the level required to race interstate and be successful.”

This year they’ve had four runs for four top two finishes.

Their only win was in the Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m) on March 29 from out wide before their latest effort, a second behind Respondent in the Group 2 WATC Derby (2400m) in their maiden mile and a half start.

Veteran Perth horseman Kersley, 75, is no stranger to making the trip to Melbourne with his stable aces over the years including Marasco and nine-time Group 1 champion Northerly.

And while a Melbourne trip was considered for Ihtsahymn this year, he’s going to hold off.

Instead the horse will target the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on November 22.

If his next Ascot campaign is particularly impressive and they can “beat better horses at level weights” though Kersley said he would consider a trip east for a possible Melbourne campaign in the autumn.

“We’ll just take baby-steps but it’s up to him from here on to prove himself,” he said.

“If he can do that in the carnival here, then the Melbourne Autumn Carnival is definitely on the agenda.”

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