Tom Kitten (+140) demolished his rivals in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick, courtesy of an elite steer from Adam Hyeronimus.
He was the beneficiary of regularly appointed jockey Nash Rawiller out with a suspension, as Hyeronimus took his chance with open arms, circling the top-half of the field aboard the son of Harry Angel.
It never looked in doubt for favourite backers, with the three-year-old able to hold a mid-field position from barrier one, and as the race unfolded, the gaps appeared perfectly for the Godolphin colt.
Raf Attack (+600) ensured a genuine gallop as he strode to the lead under Reagan Bayliss, with the stablemate Ganbare (+1300) able to lob in the one-one position, given every chance by Brett Prebble.
Cap Ferrat (+1400) finished off gamely into the quinella spot, while Ganbare and Tutta La Vitta (+500) rounded out the top four.
In the end, it was all about the winner, as Tom Kitten secured his first-ever Group 1 victory, and there may be more to come, with the Group 1 VRC Derby (2500m) next Saturday at Flemington a possible target for the stable.
2023 Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes Replay – Tom Kitten | T: James Cummings | J: Adam Hyeronimus
James Cummings spoke post-race about that possibility after discussing the elation of picking up Group 1 success with Tom Kitten.
“Outstanding,” said Cummings.
“The horse’s misfortunes have been immeasurable these past three starts. It’s just fantastic that he was able to get into the clear when he found himself in the best race of the prep and he was able to show just how good he is.
“It’s worth thinking about (The VRC Derby). He’s a very interesting horse, he’s from a quick family but he’s inbred to Machiavellian the sire of Street Cry. The horse is in a classic style about him, he looks like he would eat up 2500m and the VRC Derby is a time-honoured race, so it’s certainly worth thinking about.
“But whatever we do it will revolve around just how well Tom Kitten is and that’s the bottom line.”
Adam Hyeronimus couldn’t have been more impressed with the performance and suggested another Group 1 victory wasn’t far away.
“Unbelievable,” said Hyeronimus.
“Gee he’s some horse. He’s a gentle giant but he’s got so much ability. I don’t think they’ve got to the bottom of him, I think he’ll be better next preparation.
“It’s fantastic to ride it for James (Cummings) and Godolphin. Obviously he’s a colt winning a Group 1 and he’s been the main seed all the way along through these races and for him to tick that box off is very pleasing.
“I’m sure he’s going to be very valuable and there’s no reason why he won’t win another Group 1.”
Tom Kitten has now firmed into +250 and is the second elect with horse racing bookmakers for next Saturday’s Group 1 VRC Derby.