Tom Kitten pounces in the Up And Coming Stakes at Rosehill

James Cummings could be forced to reconsider Tom Kitten as a Golden Rose prospect after the colt overcame a weight disadvantage to post a resounding first-up win in the Up And Coming Stakes at Rosehill.

On a path towards the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) in October, Tom Kitten ($11) spotted at least four kilos to his Group 3 rivals on Saturday and Cummings would have been content to see him finding the line over the 1300m journey.

But the three-year-old showed his class to overhaul the Gary Portelli-trained Kintyre ($21) by a long head with the runner-up’s stablemate Encap ($11) launching late to grab third, another half-neck away.

While Cummings is still to be convinced that Tom Kitten fits the profile for a Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m), he isn’t ruling it out.

“That’s an exceptional win first-up,” Cummings said.

“I thought a few weeks ago he had Spring Champion Stakes written all over him, he might even have other races as well on the way there off the back of performances like that.

“We’ll make sure he’s still in the (Golden Rose) nominations, it’s a month away.

“He just has a bit to do to convince me just yet that he’s going to be quick enough at seven furlongs against those horses.

“But you never know and high-pressure over seven furlongs can do interesting things to some of those precocious horses that have been jetting around at six furlongs in the autumn as two-year-olds.”

Nash Rawiller rode Tom Kitten in three of his five autumn starts, including to his Listed Fernhill Mile victory.

He said it was satisfying to see a juvenile who had shown promise return and deliver on it at three, especially after the pair had to pick their way through some traffic in the straight.

“I straightened up and had a good look ahead of me and it was like trying to park a bus in George Street,” Rawiller said.

“I just gave him a chance to wind up, took my time and he’s a horse you never find the bottom of, he’s always got another gear.”

Les Vampires started a $3.30 favourite and wasn’t disgraced, beaten just over 2-1/2 lengths with jockey Tim Clark saying it might have been a bridge too far, too son.

“He ran really well, it just might be a bit early for him still yet,” Clark said.

Caballus ($3.50) was also well supported but disappointed to finish ninth with James Mcdonald feeling the colt had come to the end of his campaign.

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