Lees’ Group 1 Prize
Icon heads west chasing a long overdue win
NEWCASTLE trainer Kris Lees has sent Prized Icon west in a bid to find that winning groove starting with tomorrow’s Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot.
The five-year-old has been out of the winners’ circle for two years since capturing the VRC Derby for previous trainer James Cummings but has raced at a high level in that time and has been carrying big weights yet still performing well.
“He’s around the money this campaign, he just need to get his head over line first,” Lees said.
“While it’s been a while since he won a race, he’s racing well and this might be the right grade for him.
“He flew over on Sunday night and has settled in really well.
“He’s in good order and a little trip away might be the making of him.”
The son of More Than Ready, who started racing for Lees earlier this year, will appreciate a drop in weight under the handicap conditions where he has 54kg.
The last time he carried a light weight was in the Doncaster earlier this year.
“He probably didn’t race quite at his best that day,” he said.
“He is in quite well under the handicap with 54kg, hopefully he can get a nice run and gets his chance.”
Prized Icon has placed in two of his six starts this preparation but has finished no worse than fifth and beaten further that two three-quarter lengths.
He was a gallant half-length second to Cliff’s Edge in the Group 2 Crystal Mile over 1600m at Moonee Valley before a two and a quarter length fourth to Trap For Fools, Latrobe and Extra Brut in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes two weeks ago.
“Whether it suits him to go from 2000m back to the mile, I’m not sure but he’s in good order,” Lees said.
Prized Icon is Lees’ first runner in Western Australia and may stay on and contest the Group 1 Kingston Town Stakes in a fortnight.
“I’ve always looked to get over to Perth to race but just haven’t had the right horse until now and I think Prized Icon is the right horse to compete there,” he said.
“They have got such good prizemoney on offer.
“I’ll see how he goes this weekend and if presses on to the Kingston Town.”
Trainer Kris Lees is hoping Prized Icon can return to his winning form in tomorrow’s Railway Stakes.