THURSDAY, October 7, 2021: ICEBATH deservedly has got her invite – and will be reunited with Kerrin McEvoy.
Leading Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup this evening confirmed McEvoy’s booking for the $2m The Invitation (1400m) at Royal Randwick on October 23 after receiving news of his mare’s inclusion in the field for the inaugural running of the feature fillies mares’ event.
Last year’s $7.5m Golden Eagle and this year’s $3m Doncaster Mile runner-up Icebath, along with Sheraco Stakes winner Entriviere and Golden Pendant winner Vangelic, were the first three mares today named as invitees in the 12-horse line-up.
Entriviere is the $3.50 fixed odds favorite with TAB.com.au in the latest The Invitation market, ahead of Stradbroke Handicap winner Tofane ($8) and Icebath ($9).
“It’s great news,” Widdup said this evening. “This race is another excellent innovation on the part of RacingNSW and the Australian Turf Club, and the owners and myself are delighted to be involved.
“Normally, she would have gone to Melbourne after the Epsom but the opportunity to contest such another rich race at home is too good to pass up.
“The Invitation wasn’t even on the radar five or six weeks ago.”
McEvoy rode Icebath at her first three starts this campaign in a Group 3 and two Group 2s before Robbie Dolan partnered her in last Saturday’s $1.5m Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick.
She blundered at the start then had a troublesome passage in the straight before finishing ninth to Private Eye, who sailed down the extreme outside with an uninterrupted run.
“Icebath pulled up great from the Epsom,” Widdup said. “I’ll gallop her in the morning, then take her to North Richmond for a swim in the water walker.
“She is in great order. I’m very happy with her, and very happy to get an invite to contest The Invitation.”