Tom Kitten toys with Spring Champion Stakes rivals

Tom Kitten made a one-act affair of the Spring Champion Stakes on Saturday, but fast-forward twelve months and James Cummings won’t be surprised to see him line up in a Cox Plate.

Godolphin’s head trainer has a high opinion of the three-year-old, who gave sire Harry Angel his first Group 1 win in Australia with his demolition job in Sydney’s final major of 2023.

“He’s proved to be one of the best middle-distance horses in the country today and a nomination in the Cox Plate wouldn’t have been out of place,” Cummings said.

“If we can keep getting him better and better, in twelve months’ time he might be racing on the same day down in Melbourne.”

Luckless in his final lead-up run in the Gloaming Stakes (1800m), Tom Kitten enjoyed a much cosier run from an inside draw in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) on Saturday.

Adam Hyeronimus picked up the winning ride and made the most of his opportunity, getting Tom Kitten ($2.50 betting site fav) into space at the top of the straight before the colt exploded clear to score by 3-3/4 lengths over Cap Ferrat ($16) with Ganbare ($14) another length in arrears.

“He’s a gentle giant, but he’s got so much ability,” said Hyeronimus, who brought up his third career Group 1 aboard the colt.

“I don’t think they’ve got to the bottom of him, I think he’ll be better next preparation.”

Cummings became the third generation of his family to win a Spring Champion after his grandfather Bart and father Anthony.

He confirmed the Godolphin team would consider backing-up Tom Kitten in next Saturday’s Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington, pending on how the horse did during the week.

“He’s a very interesting horse, he’s from a quick family but he is inbred to Machiavellian, the sire of Street Cry, and the horse has a classic style about him,” Cummings said.

“He looks like he will eat up 2500 and the VRC Derby is a time-honoured race.

“It’s certainly worthwhile thinking about, but whatever we do will revolve around how well Tom Kitten is and that’s the bottom line.”

Kerrin Mcevoy was pleased with the effort of runner-up Cap Ferrat while Brett Prebble said Ganbare gave him the feel of a Derby horse.

“He hit a flat patch on the turn in but he was really game and ran through the line,” Prebble said.

“I think he could run a Derby trip.”

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