Trainer James Cummings has revealed that talented colt Prized Icon is on track for a competitive return in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on August 20th.
Prized Icon experienced something of a meteoric rise to prominence through the late stages of his two-year-old campaign in autumn, and returned to the paddock after breaking through for a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) on April 16th.
Cummings has been thrilled with the form displayed by the More Than Ready colt through his time in the paddock and subsequent return to work, and told Racing Ahead he will contest one more Sydney barrier trial before a likely return in the 2016 Up And Coming Stakes.
“He’s in good order,” Cummings said.
“He had a really nice and soft barrier trial without the blinkers last week. He went around on the Kenso track and we didn’t let his head go.
“He’s on target to trail again and go first-up in the Up And Coming. He’ll be forced to carry a fair bit of weight there, particularly if we’re the only Group 1 winner in the field.
“He loves racing at Randwick, he’s won his last 2 starts there and I think you’ll be happy with what you see when he resumes first-up, he looks well and has matured a bit more.”
Cummings revealed the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in Melbourne will figure as Prized Icon’s hopeful major target, but he will be guided by his early Spring Carnival results.
“That’s where I’d like to see him nice and fit (Caulfield Guineas), but he’s got a few options up his sleeve,” he said.
“We’ll be guided by what he shows us in his return and we’ve got our preferences, but we’re pretty malleable when it comes to that.”
Prized Icon debuted to racing for third in the Listed Breeders’ Plate (1000m) in October last year before immediately returning to the paddock, with a view towards his 2016 campaign.
Resuming this year for third in the More Than Winning Plate (1000m) at Randwick on January 23rd, Prized Icon progressed to second in the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) and third in the Group 3 Black Opal Stakes (1200m).
Boxing on for a close second in the late stages of the Group 3 The Schweppervescence (1400m) on March 26th, the colt out of Tropical Affair broke through for his maiden race win the Listed Fernhill Handicap (1600m) only one week prior to the Champagne Stakes.