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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


MONDAY: January 16, 2023: GROUP 1 mare Icebath will have a new rider when she begins an autumn campaign next month.

Brett Prebble, who has relocated from Melbourne to Sydney and clinched a Rosehill Gardens double last Saturday, partnered Icebath for the first time in a 900m barrier trial for Group horses on the Warwick Farm course proper this morning.

The 37 times Group 1 winning jockey will link with the six-year-old mare at her resumption in the $250,000 Group 2 wfa Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 11.

Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Brad Widdup, who returned home after only two races were run at the Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast last Saturday to trial a number of horses today, is pleased with Icebath’s condition as he readies the $5.2m earner for another preparation.

Icebath wasn’t out to grab headlines when she settled near the rear and ran seventh in today’s trial, which was won by another Group 1 winning mare Forbidden Love, who led throughout.

“She is in great order, and will trial again in a fortnight before resuming in the Apollo,” Widdup said.

“Brett has offered to come out to Hawkesbury once a week to ride work, and I wanted a jockey to stick with Icebath throughout her campaign.”

Prebble rode five of Widdup’s six triallers today, including impressive debut Newcastle winner Ausbred Rising Sun.

After five Group 1 placings (three of them seconds), Icebath (Craig Williams) clinched a breakthrough at the elite level in the $1m Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) against her own sex at Flemington on October 29 at her last start.

. Meanwhile, Widdup is keeping his Magic Millions 2YO Classic hope Fire Lane up to the mark for the $2m feature when it is eventually run at the Gold Coast on Thursday.

“Fire Lane did some work this morning just to keep her ticking over,” Widdup said.

“I will go back to the Coast to saddle her on Thursday.”

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