29th October 2022
TAB Empire Rose Stakes
Credit: JUST HORSE RACING – Article
The connections of Icebath have been rewarded for their patience with the mare breaking through for her maiden Group 1 success.
Lining up for her 10th start at the highest level on Saturday in the Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) at Flemington, Icebath was given a rails hugging ride to claim success.
Jumping from gate five, Williams had Icebath ($11) positioned on the fence mid-race, and she did not go around a horse in recording a long neck win over Mirra Vision ($61) with Excelida ($61) three-quarters-of-a-length away third.
With Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup watching on at home, assistant-trainer Andre Rabbett said Icebath had finally lived up to the faith the stable had shown in her.
“She’s come through and got the maiden Group 1,” Rabbett said.
“Off her work at home we always knew she was up to this grade, she just needed things to go her way.
“It took a lot of faith from Brad and the owners to back her up after her last run, we just had to draw a line through that run, we got her back home, there was nothing wrong with her.
“Brad said we’ll send her down, hopefully things go right for her.”
Williams said he had gone back to watch old replays of Icebath and had been in contact with Widdup.
He said when he walked the track he was happy to be economical and stick to the rails.
“Brad Widdup, he used the same formula last year running in the Cantala, not going back against her mare’s group,” Williams said.
“Her couple of runs this preparation have been against Anamoe, Zaaki, the best horses.
“Last time (in The Invitation) looked a bit plain but as he said, maybe she just had such a hard run on those heavy tracks so give her the time.
“When she came down here, Rose who’s done the work on her said she’s really thrived.”
Williams was dislodged from Icebath on pulling up and did his post-race interview running back to the weighing in area.
“She’s a bit of a lady and she’s got her mannerisms and we saw that on display,” Williams said.
“She did all the running to get the Group 1 and she made me do all the running to get home.”