Group One winner takes out the Darwin Cup

Steve Bennett in News 5 Aug 2019
  • Nine-year-old veteran takes out the Darwin Cup

Group One winner Ihtsahymn has defied all the odds and won the 2019 Darwin Cup (2000m).
The veteran nine-year-old galloper had to pass a vet’s exam after sustaining minor abrasions from a stable incident the day before the race.
Once confirmed a certain starter, the grey gelding then had to carry top weight of 60.5kgs around the dirt track, along with 52-year-old veteran jockey Peter Hall in the saddle.
Starting third favourite at $4.40 with Sportsbet, he did it the hard way as he was caught four-deep at one stage but showed his true determination by running down the race leader Lotion ($19), with Xebec ($23) three lengths back in third place. 
The Michael Hickmott-trained Lieder was sent out a warm favourite at $2.40 and finished a neck behind his stablemate in fourth place. 
For young Broome trainer Rob Gulberti it was a dream come true.

“It is so special,” Gulberti told Sky Thoroughbred Central.

“I haven’t been training all that long. 

“We have been lucky enough to come across some nice horses and this bloke was retired. 

“I asked the owners on a whim that maybe he could be a Darwin Cup horse for us and wanted to come back after our experience last year. 

“We have just won the Darwin Cup. It’s very humbling but an amazing experience.”

Ihtsahymn was formerly trained by Fred Kersley (who enjoyed success with multiple-Group One winner Northerly) and is still a part-owner of the horse. 
Kersley was at the track and was overjoyed to see his gelding take out the coveted event.

After a poor showing in this year’s Perth Cup, the horse found himself at Gulberti’s stables in Broome.
The nine-year-old then showed connections he still had something to offer when first-up from a six-month break, he won a BM70 in Broome over 1435m by more than a length, carrying the grandstand at 66kgs. 
Three-weeks later, he won again, this time over 1600m on the Darwin track, before lining-up for this year’s Cup.
The Darwin Cup now stands alongside his trophy for winning the 2013 Group One Kingston Town Classic (1800m) which he won as a three-year-old.