Timing Perfect For Back-Up Queen

Trainer Brad Widdup is relying to a tried and tested formula to help luckless mare Icebath snare an elusive Group 1 win on the second day of The Championships at Randwick.

Two of the five-year-old’s best runs have been on a seven-day back-up – her narrow second to Colette on a heavy track in the 2020 Golden Eagle and equally close second to Cascadian in last year’s Doncaster Mile.

Icebath will again be on a seven-day turnaround in Saturday’s Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) after finishing an outstanding third behind Mr Brightside and I’m Thunderstruck in last weekend’s Doncaster, but this time Widdup is hoping for a different result.

“She is a very good back-up horse. We were either going to back up into this or the Queen Elizabeth,” Widdup said.

“Going to the Queen Elizabeth, she probably had to strike a win somewhere there and it didn’t happen so this was always a very good back-up race.”

Icebath didn’t manage a placing in her first three autumn starts, but Widdup felt she was disadvantaged by wide draws and unsuitable tempos.

He also faced some challenges getting enough work into the mare on the waterlogged training tracks, but he is adamant he has been happy with her the whole way through and is confident she is poised for a peak performance.

“I know her pretty well and how she has come out of that (Doncaster Mile) run, I couldn’t be happier,” Widdup said.

“She thrives off this sort of quick back-up, heavy tracks, the mile at Randwick. There are a few ticks there.”

Icebath is on the second line of betting at $5, behind her Golden Eagle conqueror Colette ($4) with undefeated three-year-old Yonce the only other runner at single-figure odds as a $7.50 chance.

– RAS NewsWire

Share this article