2015 Naturalism Stakes an Option for Ihtsahymn

August 4th, 2015

Classy gelding Ihtsahymn has been nominated for a racing return at Flemington this weekend, and trainer Patrick Payne has revealed early results posted by the five-year-old will dictate his major target during the 2015 Spring Carnival.

A Perth native, Ihtsahymn has posted an impressive seven wins and three minors through his 21 competitive starts under the guidance of Fred Kersley but has transferred to the care of Payne in search of east coast riches through the 2015 Spring Carnival.

Having included the son of Ihtiram in nominations for a 1400m race and the featured Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) this weekend, Payne told Racing Ahead he is pleased with the building condition of the talented runner and believes the added distance of the first option figures as an ideal launch pad.

“I put him in the Aurie’s Star just in case he got too much weight in the 1400m race but I think the 1400m will suit him much better,” Payne said.

“I thought the straight would suit him but those sprinters in the Aurie’s Star will be too sharp for him and the 1400 around Flemington should be ideal.

“He’s been with me for quite a while, he came here and had a preparation but his action wasn’t right and he had a few things wrong with him so we stopped and put him out for two months and started again.

“This preparation we’re extremely happy with him, he came back in sound and happy and all the way through his work has been very good.”

Payne is confident the gelding is still very capable of success at the highest level, but is sure to consider targets like the 2015 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Group 3 level should his early campaign form not warrant a berth in the season’s top features.

“He had very good form as a three-year-old, he had a flat season as a four-year-old so he needs to get up off the canvas a little bit but I’m very happy with him,” Payne said.

“We’ll nominate him for the better races but whether we have to come back a cog or two we’ll have to wait and see.”

Having undoubtedly posted a career highlight when taking out the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m), Ihtsahymn was unable to make much of a competitive impact through his most recent campaign and has not been seen at the races since finishing a forgettable 12th in the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) on New Year’s Day.

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