Victoria Derby winner Prized Icon gets his chance to visit the winner’s stall for the first time in two years when he lines up in the 2018 Group 1 $1m Kirin Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
Prized Icon has performed well at Group 1 level without a win since claiming the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The Kris Lees trained Prized Icon has been placed three times at Group 1 level since his Victoria Derby victory which includes a second to champion mare Winx in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
The five year old has been placed twice from five starts this Spring campaign which included a second two starts back to Cliff’s Edge in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Crystal Mile (1600m) at The Valley on Cox Plate Day on October 27 while his latest outing saw him run fourth to Trap For Fools in the Group 1 $2m Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on the last day of the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival November 10.
“He hasn’t won for a couple of years, but he’s raced at the top level,” Lees told The West Australian.
“He’s got a second to Winx and his form backs up pretty well for a race like this.
“For the last six weeks or so it’s always been in the back of my mind. I wasn’t sure whether to run him in the Mackinnon or not, but he ran well. This looks a nice race for him.”
Lees has reported that Prized Icon has arrived in Perth in fine order and he has kept him on the fresh side as he drops back to 1600m from the 2000m of the Mackinnon Stakes.
“He’s in good order,” Lees said.
“We’ve kept him fresh for the drop back to the mile and I expect him to be just forward of midfield and try to get a bit of cover.”
Prized Icon has drawn barrier nine in the fifteen horse Railway Stakes field with Ben Melham replacing Damien Oliver.
Betting for the Railway Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has the local mare Galaxy Star as the $2.80 favourite while Prized Icon is marked at the double figure odds of $13.