Confirmed to line up for Saturday’s featured Group 2 CB Cox Stakes (2100m), trainer Fred Kersley has revealed a return to form will see Group 1 winner Ihtsahymn nominated for the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) on January 1st.
A standout performer over 2013 Perth summer, Ihtsahymn has failed to make much of an impact over four starts this time in; beating a solitary runner home in the Listed Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) first-up on October 25th before placing fifth in the Group 2 Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) and tenth in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) on November 22nd.
Having hit extended to the line well when eighth in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on December 6th, Kersley told the West Australian he would like to enter the Ihtiram gelding for the 2015 Perth Cup and is hopeful of a resurgence in form at Ascot this weekend.
“He’s clearly struggling to find his best form,” Kersley said.
“We live in hope in this game.
“His last run was reasonably good. He made up a lot of late ground.
“His trackwork suggests he’ll run a good race and the barrier certainly does help.
“It’s just a question whether he can get back to his best.
“We’d like to go to the cup. If he runs a good race he will.”
Securing seven wins and a further three minor places from just 19 competitive starts so far, Ihtsahymn ran seventh in the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m) and the beginning of his memorable 2013 summer; progressing to sixth in the Listed Fairetha Stakes (1400m) before securing consecutive race wins in each of the Group 2 W.A. Guineas (1600m), Kingston Town Classic and CB Cox Stakes.
Returning to autumn this year in similarly impressive form, the gelding out of Umatune placed second in each of the Listed Lex Piper Stakes (1600m) and Lister J.C. Roberts Stakes (1800m) before taking out the Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m); returning to the paddock after running second to Respondent in the Group 2 W.A.T.C. Derby (2400m).
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