TUESDAY: March 3, 2020: HAWKESBURY’S leading trainer Brad Widdup is confident Icebath can make her mark in black type company.
The lightly-raced daughter of dual Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls maintained her unbeaten record this preparation with a Kembla Grange victory today.
Superbly ridden by Christian Reith, Icebath ($3.60) raced on the pace – which proved to be a winning move – and had no trouble holding out $1.90 favorite Amitto, who came from last.
“Christian and I discussed the race beforehand, and we had two options,” Widdup said this evening.
“Either go forward or go back. We pulled the right rein.”
Widdup took great pleasure from Icebath’s success for a couple of reasons.
“She has always shown ability, and I ran her in some black type races last season as a two-year-old.
“Unfortunately, we found she had chips in both front fetlocks after finishing second at Wyong last July, and an operation was required.
“Icebath has come back a more tractable filly, and her two wins (the first was on the Beaumont track on February 17) have confirmed my opinion of her last season.
“Also, I’m delighted that owners such as David McGrath and David Basheer have got themselves into a nice horse.
“They were in Ridicule, which was the most frustrating horse I have trained.
“She had a stack of ability and although she won a couple of races (including one at Kembla Grange when she beat subsequent Queensland Derby winner Dark Dream), never really replicated that.”
Widdup is confident Icebath can prove herself at black type level, and is considering nominating her for the $200,000 Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic (1600m) against her own sex at Kembla Grange on Friday week.
“I can’t see why she won’t run a ‘mile’ as her sire won two Doncasters and she is out of a Savabeel mare (Fabulist),” he said.
However, Widdup is also likely to nominate his talented filly Akari for the Kembla Grange Classic as well as the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) against the “boys” at Rosehill Gardens the following day.
He hasn’t lost faith in her in spite of two unplaced performances this campaign against her own sex in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m).
“I’m happy with the way she is going,” Widdup said. “She drew poorly in the Surround last Saturday and things just didn’t go right for her.
“I was pleased with the way she made ground over the closing stages.”
. Icebath today was Widdup’s 22nd winner of the season.