The visitors draw made the decision for trainer Brad Widdup and his classy mare Icebath will wait another 24 hours to run at Randwick on Saturday.
Widdup had Icebath entered for the Group 3 Tibbie Stakes (1400m) at the Newcastle Cup meeting on Friday and it was the “preferred” option but the outside forced the trainer’s hand to run in the “back-up” Tresemme Benchmark 88 Handicap (1400m).
“She hasn’t been having much luck of late so I’m hoping things will turn on Saturday,” Widdup said. “Surely she’s due.
“We’ve had out eye on the Tibbie, it looked a suitable race for her but it’s hard enough trying to win these races without drawing barrier 21 so that really made the decision for us.
“Barrier four on Saturday is much more attractive.”
Icebath was a luckless fourth at Randwick last start after a controversial ride by Glen Boss which resulted in, he and Widdup spending a considerable amount of time in the stewards room at the conclusion of the Chelmsford Stakes meeting.
Stewards concluded the matter last Saturday at Rosehill ruling Boss had no case to answer but they were critical of his handling of the mare in the early stages and nearing the home turn.
The champion big race rider retains the ride on Icebath on Saturday and Widdup’s been around the sport long enough to know the great jockeys tend not to make the same mistakes twice.
Glen Boss. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
“I’ve moved on from that and he wouldn’t be on her if we didn’t think he’s the best man for the job on Saturday,” he said.
“She’s a mare that still has plenty of upside.
“She’s relatively lightly raced and while she’s racing well I think the best is still yet to come.
“Up to 1400 metres on Saturday should suit her down to the ground. I think it’s her pet distance and I’m hoping she can be a little closer in the run this week.
“I respect the opposition but I think this filly is legitimately a black-type horse and I expect her to run very well on Saturday.”
Icebath is a $4.80 chance in early final field markets for Saturday’s contest behind Godolphin’s undefeated four-year-old gelding Criaderas at $2.70.
After Saturday, Widdup said there “are many options” in Sydney and Melbourne in the weeks ahead for his four-year-old daughter of Sacred Falls.
Originally published asBarrier draws force Widdup’s hand with Icebath
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