Lees’ Group 1 Prize

Icon heads west chas­ing a long over­due win

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - ADAM SHERRY

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.

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