IN Racing
Icebath ready for Group One plunge
Icebath will be looking to claim her first elite-level scalp this weekend.
NZ Racing Desk | September 29, 2022
Icebath. Photo:

Icebath will be looking to claim her first elite-level scalp this weekend when she contests the Gr.1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.

The six-year-old mare heads into the race in good form, having finished runner-up in the Gr.2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) and Gr.1 George Main Stakes (1600m) in her last two starts.

As a result, she has been backed into favouritism in this weekend’s mile feature, but trainer Brad Widdup isn’t getting too carried away.

“She ran terrific last year and finished eighth. They are hard races to win, we know that. She is in terrific order leading up to Saturday,” Widdup told RSN.

The daughter of Sacred Falls will be met by a Soft track on Saturday, and while she has a solid record on the surface with a win and five placings from seven starts, Widdup said she is capable on all surfaces.

“I think it is more her racing manners (than track condition),” he said. 

“She obviously handles heavy tracks really well but she did win a A$2 million race (Invitation, 1400m) on a Good3 and ran a close second in the Cantala (Gr.1, 1600m) at Flemington on a Good3.

“I think it is more tempo in the race and where she is at. I think she is adaptable.

“I think if we can get her to bounce like she did last start and have her in that midfield position, it definitely helps her.

“There looks to be a bit of speed in the race. If you can get on the back of them and be in front of a couple that would be great.”

Widdup has been pleased with Icebath’s work in the lead-up to Saturday and expects her to be right in the finish with the benefit of leading Sydney hoop James McDonald aboard.

“She is in fantastic order, she has come through her last gallop bright and happy. We have just got a couple of days to go,” Widdup said.

“If she turns up and races like she has been, I am sure she is going to give it a good shake.”

Following Saturday’s assignment, Widdup said her owners have a bit to contemplate, having to pick between The Invitation or the Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) next month.

“I will leave that one to the owners,” Widdup said. 

“I have got to keep options open for them. She is in The Invitation, a A$2 million race for fillies and mares, and obviously the Cox Plate.”

Widdup purchased the Waikato Stud-bred filly in Australia as a yearling for $100,000.

Icebath Sacred Falls Cantala James McDonald Waikato Stud Brad Widdup