Tom Kitten a real Up And Coming type

David Murray
Dave Murray

Tom Kitten showed he will be a major contender in the big spring three-year-old middle-distance races when he returned from a spell with an impressive victory in the G3 Up And Coming Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

Despite carrying top weight of 59kg, conceding 4kg to his nearest rival in the 1,300m quality, Tom Kitten charged down the centre of the track from well back on the home turn to beat Kintyre and Encap.

Although a winner of the Listed Fernhill Stakes (1,600m) and a good fourth in the G1 Champagne Stakes over the same distance at Randwick during his first preparation, Godolphin head trainer James Cummings wasn’t overly confident of a winning return.

But the imposing son of Harry Angel paraded in terrific order and stamped his class with regular jockey Nash Rawiller in the saddle.

“That’s an exceptional win first-up, but not entirely surprising that he throws in a PB first start at his second prep,” Cummings said.

“He kept improving last prep, but he improved a lot to get to that level today."

“To give upwards of four and five kilos to those horses, it’s a special performance resuming and lays a very promising platform for the rest of his spring."

“To get within a couple of lengths of them at the weights would have been promising, to win is hair-raising.”

Cummings has some big targets in mind for Tom Kitten, if the colt continues to improve and mature as expected. 

“It’s not easy for a two-year-old to win over a mile (Fernhill) at Stakes level, we don’t have many of them in Australia,” he said.

“The fact he was able to stretch out and accomplish that in the autumn goes to show what sort of natural stamina the horse had."

“I thought a few weeks ago he had (G1) Spring Champion Stakes written all over him and he might even have other races as well on the way there."

“Off the back of a performance like that, I’ll be interested in Nash’s feedback but that’s an exciting first-up win.”

Tom Kitten has now won three of his six starts, all three with Rawiller as his pilot.

“I always thought we had a nice horse here and going to the gates today I realised we had,” the jockey said.

“I had all these plans to ride for luck in the run, with the big weight, save ground, ride in the better part of the track."

“I straightened up and I had a good look ahead of me - it’s like trying to park a bus in George Street."

“I took my time and he’s just a horse you can’t find the bottom of, he’s always got another gear."

“To have a bit to do with them when they are young, and then they come back like this, it’s pretty exciting.”  

Tom Kitten capped a successful day for Cummings after Marquess and Inhibitions won at Rosehill and Moonee Valley, respectively.

Marquess (James McDonald) scored a gutsy win in the Mounties Group BM78 Handicap (1,500m) before Ben Melham brought Inhibitions with a perfectly timed winning run in the Ladbroke IT Handicap for three-year-old fillies over 1,200m.