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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


SATURDAY: September 10, 2022: HAWKESBURY’S leading trainer Brad Widdup is “zooming” toward a career tally of 250 wins as he looks forward eagerly to star mare Icebath’s next start.

Widdup chalked up his 243rd victory – and sixth this season – when Ilzoomya ($3.40 favorite) was successful at Goulburn yesterday.

Ridden by Alysha Collett, Ilzoomya made the running, was challenged strongly on the home turn, and fought on gamely to defeat the strong-finishing Nopain ($21) and Love of Air ($6.50) in a Class 1 Handicap (1300m).

The Denman four-year-old was having his 10th start, but only his fourth since joining Widdup’s stable.

“Alysha rode Ilzoomya positively, and it suited him,” Widdup said last night.

“I felt he did a good job to win as he was taken on making the home turn by Bobby’ Secret, who dropped out to finish last.

“The going appeared better out wide and Ilzoomya was near the inside, and he battled on really well.”

Ilzoomya’s win broke a frustrating run of minor placings Widdup had in the last week, beginning with Icebath’s strong-finishing second to Zaaki in last Saturday’s Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick.

He had five placings (four of them seconds, including three on his home track last Thursday) from seven starters before Goulburn yesterday.

Widdup intends nominating Icebath for Friday’s $200,000 Group 3 Tibbie Stakes (1400m) at the Newcastle Gold Cup meeting.

“I’ll have a look at the entries, and make a decision whether she goes to Newcastle or we wait for the Group 2 Golden Pendant over the same distance at Rosehill Gardens on September 24,” Widdup said.

“Both are set weights and penalties races against her own sex, and she will come in well.

“But the Golden Pendant is worth double the Tibbie prizemoney, and a week before the Epsom at Randwick, and she has proven in the past that she backs up well.

“I’m really happy with Icebath. She is going as good as ever.”

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