The Brad Widdup-trained Icebath will get her chance to finally break her bridesmaid status when the perennial Group 1 place-getter lines-up favourite in the Group 1 $1.5 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) this weekend.

Icebath | Photo: Steve Hart |

Icebath is tipped to take out the 2022 Epsom Handicap at Randwick on Saturday. Photo: Steve Hart.

Heading the Sydney racing action at Royal Randwick, this year’s Epsom Handicap field attracted a dozen milers with markets at led by the reigning $2 million The Invitation winner Icebath at $4.20.

She was ninth in this event last spring, but has gone from strength to strength since taking her Group 1 record up to five minor placings from eight starts to date.

The bonny six-year-old daughter of Sacred Choice was excellent over the Randwick mile back in the autumn when third in both the Group 1 Doncaster Mile and Queen Of The Turf run in the mud.

Saturday sees her line-up from a midfield barrier seven draw with hoop of the hour, James McDonald, riding.

She is fit fourth-up and was excellent last time out when under a length back second to Godolphin gun Anamoe in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m).

The George Main Stakes looks the form line to follow into the Epsom with Chris Waller’s third placed mare Hinged the main danger in betting.

She occupies the second line of the markets at a close $4.80 to hand Waller his fifth Epsom Handicap trophy.

Waller’s previous Epsom Handicap wins came with Boban (2013), He’s Your Man (2014), superstar mare Winx (2015) and most recently Kolding (2019).

Worthy Cause four-year-old Hinged, winner of the Surround Stakes in the autumn, is improving each run this campaign and meets Icebath 2.5kg better in the weights here making her a huge threat to keep Widdup’s mare a Group 1 maiden.

Waller will also saddle-up two other mares in this season’s Epsom with Fangirl ($7.50) in gate five and Kiku ($26) drawn the outside alley jumping from barrier 12.

Fangirl has Tommy Berry aboard here as the autumn’s Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes winner looks to improve on her fifth in the George Main Stakes.

Before that she was runner-up to Anamoe in the Winx Stakes fresh showing a tremendous turn of foot, and with a clearer run than she got last time out she may be able to replicate something similar on Saturday.

Despite the wide draw, Waller’s Zoustar mare Kiku looks to be genuine place chance at a price having run in the money in 15 of her 22 starts so far.

She is a six-time winner and was under three lengths off the likes of Startantes and The Everest-bound Snapdancer when fifth in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) over the winter in Brisbane.

Fresh she was excellent denying Mr Mozart to win the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill, and she is proven on all types of going.

Annabel Neasham’s last start Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap winner Top Ranked ($5) and the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Randwick Guineas champ Converge ($17) carry the equal 56.5 top weight and are drawn in barriers four and one respectively.

Waterhouse & Bott also saddle-up Bill Ritchie third place-getter Crosstalk who rounds out the single-figure Epsom hopes at a current quote of $9.

About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.