Trainer Fred Kersley believes Lite’n In My Veins could be ready for a crack at the big time after he powered to a dominant win in the $100,000 Listed Birthday Stakes (1200m) at Belmont’s season-ending meeting on Saturday.
Lite’n In My Veins, who started at $13.10, settled last for jockey, Steven Parnham, and finished strongly down the outside of the track to defeat favourite, Great Shot by ¾ of a length with Miki Two Toes close behind in third position.
Gun mare Wink And A Nod, racing first up this preparation, compounded to sixth, but she had to cover ground when her rider William Pike got left stranded wide after attempting to angle across from barrier eight.
Ideal Image, from the Jason Miller and Geoff Durrant stable, finished seventh, but was unlucky not to play a major role in the race after failing to find clear galloping room in the straight.
Lite’n In My Veins, a four-year-old by Henrythenavigator, claimed his second black-type success after taking out the Group 3 Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic (1400m) on debut at Ascot last December.
Kersley, who won the Birthday Stakes for the second time after preparing, Cento, in 2003, said there was significant improvement left in Lite’n In My Veins.
“I came here thinking he couldn’t win given the weights and thought he had a job to do, but he ran very well,” Kersley said.
“Early in the race he didn’t seem to be handling the track, but at the end of the race it may be played in his favour because it was more like a 1400m race given the heavy track and strong winds.
“I still believe he is a horse who is still in the making if you like and is not a fully matured animal, but I’m so pleased he has been able to perform at this level.
“It’s now onto the Northerly and although I haven’t looked beyond that you would have to consider the Railway Stakes (1600m) and Kingston Town (1800m).
“I’ve been very patient with this horse and if I can keep him sound I think as a four-year-old he could be a better than average galloper.”
The Northerly Stakes, a Group 3 race over 1400m, marks the return to racing at Ascot on October 15.