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  • John Curtis


TUESDAY: January 19, 2021: IT’S been a tough week for Brad Widdup, but classy mare Icebath put a smile on his face at this morning’s Gosford barrier trial session.

Making her first semi-public appearance since being narrowly beaten in the $7.5m Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens in late October, Icebath impressed with a strong-finishing second in an 800m Open trial.

Partnered by Kerrin McEvoy for the first time, Icebath settled second last in the seven-horse heat, then surged down the outside under a strong hold to get within a half-length of Newcastle three-year-old Okudah, a Scone winner on debut last August.

“Very happy with how she trialled,” Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Widdup said this evening. “Icebath put on 27kg during her break and it was good to see her perform as she did.

“I think Kerrin was a bit surprised at how well she went.

“She has pulled up well, and will trial again at Warwick Farm on February 1.”

Icebath’s autumn target is the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) for fillies and mares at Rosehill Gardens on March 13 – the same course and distance where she was edged out by ATC Oaks winner Colette in the Golden Eagle on October 31 on a heavy surface.

Widdup is planning to keep his four-year-old mare against her own sex in two lead-up assignments to the Coolmore Classic.

Already the earner of just over $1.7m in stakes, Icebath will resume in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 13 before contesting the Group 2 Guy Walter Proven Thoroughbreds Stakes (1400m) at the same track a fortnight later.

Widdup is hoping McEvoy again partners his mare in the February 1 trial, but is yet to confirm who will ride her when she resumes.

“I’m not panicking about a jockey for her resumption,” he said.

“I wanted Kerrin to get a feel of her today, and James McDonald rode her in a gallop between races at a Newcastle meeting last year.”

Widdup spent nearly a week in quarantine at the Gold Coast last week, being restricted to only attending the Magic Millions yearling sales and not being able to go anywhere else, including saddling his well-backed runner Adelaide’s Light ($5.50 co-favorite), who finished sixth to the joint favorite Newsreader in the $250,000 MM Maiden Plate (1200m) last Saturday.

Whilst Adelaide’s Light couldn’t get the job done, at least he returned home with two yearlings to add to his books.

“It was a very tough sale, and I appreciated BK Racing buying me two yearlings,” he said.

. Widdup took a big team to Gosford this morning, and also had placing with Deepfield’s Raine (third), Beauchamp (second), Zenia (third), Calgary Queen (second) and Miss Magnum (second).

Beauchamp’s 800m Open heat was won by another Hawkesbury representative, Edward Cummings’ Obiri.

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