SUNDAY: April 11, 2021: BRAD Widdup has ruled out any chance of attempting a Group 1 “consolation” at Royal Randwick on Saturday with $3m Doncaster Mile runner-up Icebath.
The $1m Coolmore Legacy (1600m) for fillies and mares awaits on Day 2 of The Championships and, whilst the leading Hawkesbury trainer narrowly missed a Group 1 breakthrough with his classy mare yesterday, he isn’t tempted to back her up in search of a victory at racing’s elite level.
“I’m not going to smash her by running three weekends in a row,” Brad said today.
“Icebath wasn’t suited by the pattern of racing at Rosehill last week at Rosehill Gardens and still ran home well from last to finish fourth in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m), then gave her all yesterday in the Doncaster.
“She was tired after the race.
“Her owners were thrilled with her performance, and happy with what she has done this preparation.
“Icebath definitely won’t back up in the Coolmore Legacy, and I’ll see how she bounces out of the Doncaster this week before determining any immediate plans.
“We were considering going to Brisbane for the Doomben Cup, but it’s likely we will spell her and look ahead to the spring.”
Having trained for only four years after serving a lengthy apprenticeship, Brad has twice gone so close to landing feature victories this season with Icebath – and, ironically, on both occasions to the massive Godolphin operation.
Icebath was pipped by Godolphin’s Colette in the $7.5m Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens last October, and again edged out by her stablemate Cascadian in yesterday’s Group 1 Doncaster.
For all that, she has still earned her owners just over $2m from those two seconds and proved an outstanding purchase for them.
In the aftermath of another close defeat, Brad took it in his stride and publicly thanked his Hawkesbury staff for all the work they have done with Icebath.
“I would probably have been more emotional if she had won,” he said.
“Still, you had to be proud of how she ran.
“It would have been nice to have been the swooper rather than be swept upon (referring to both Colette and Cascadian nabbing Icebath on her outside), but that’s racing.”
. Stablemate Switched, whom the trainer’s wife Milissa races in partnership with a ladies’ syndicate, finished fifth at Caulfield yesterday at her Melbourne debut, and will return to her Hawkesbury stable.
“I think you can forget about that defeat,” Brad said. “That was only her second run this preparation after finishing third first-up on the Kensington track, and we’ll look for another race for her once she settles in back at home.”