ICEBATH TO GET START IN THE DONCASTER

The controversial omission of Brad Widdup trained Icebath from the $3m Doncaster Mile on Saturday has been avoided after Kris Lees trained Gem Song was withdrawn on Thursday giving the 4 year old mare a start.

Kris Lees informed Stewards that Gem Song had pulled up with lameness in the off fore leg after working and will be spelled as a result. 

Icebath had been a somewhat controversial omission from the Randwick Group 1 field of 20 after Racing New South Wales handicappers chose to lower the mares benchmark performance rating by 2 points after placing 4th in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes last Saturday.

The result of the handicappers actions meant that Surround Stakes winner Forbidden Love and Hawkes Racing-trained Rock jumped over Icebath in the order of entry and leave Widdups Golden Eagle runner up to wait nervously as 1st emergency.

Icebath will be ridden by Jay Ford in the Doncaster Mile and has firmed from $34 into $21 with TAB after securing a start in the $3m feature.

We could see Icebaths price shorten further in the coming days as the daughter of Sacred Falls will appreciate the 24mm of rain that fell in Randwick on Thursday night after running through the slop in that Golden Eagle finish.

Meanwhile Kris Lees won’t be overly worried about the withdrawal of Gem Song through injury having the current market leader in Mugatoo set to start favourite in the race. Mugatoo is currently $4.20 in the race and comes in off great form winning the $5m All Star Mile in March. 

Elsewhere Chris Waller trained Haut Brion Her has been scratched from the TJ Smith Stakes after vets advice deemed the 5yo mare was unfit to run. 

Much like Lees, Waller won’t be too worried about the late withdrawal having Nature Strip line up as the $3.60 favourite and rematch against Joseph Pride’s Eduardo who won the Group 1 Galaxy recently. 

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