Promising sprinter Iconic is set to return to Group 2 level in the McEwen Stakes (1000m) in a fortnight after he scored a narrow win in the 2014 Carlyon Stakes at Moonee Valley this afternoon.
There was plenty of speed in the Carlyon Stakes field and the early stages of the race did not disappoint, with the likes of Kencella, Minaj and African Pulse battling for the lead in the early stages of the race, while Iconic was settled towards in the middle of the field by jockey Nick Hall.
Iconic worked into the race strongly and he showed impressive acceleration in the final stages to score a first-up win from Angels Beach and Angelic Light, who was returning to the races for the first time in over a year.
Tony McEvoy gave Iconic an opportunity at Group 1 level in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing and he finished 14th behind Lankan Rupee, but the consistent trainer believes that the Bel Esprit gelding has improved and he will give him another shot at the world’s leading sprinter in the McEwen Stakes on September 6.
“I am very, very happy,” McEvoy said after the race.
“He just had one trial coming into it and I was a touch nervous about that, but Nick came out very confident and he thought that the race mapped out really well for the horse.
“He wanted to be a little bit more positive than I wanted to be and the beauty of having these good jocks is that you listen to them and they get it right sometimes.
“He has more of these nice races in him.
“I ran him in the Group 1 earlier in the year because I thought that he was close and I think he might have improved a touch, so he might get his chance this time.
“I will bring him back here for the Group 3 McEwen in a fortnight if he does well.
“1000 and 1100 is his go and any further than that he gets a bit keen and fires up.”
Nick Hall was riding Iconic for the first time since he finished second in the gelding in the Group 2 National Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on May 11 and said that he went into the Carlyon Stakes confident that the four-year-old would receive a lovely run into the race.
“It is all about timing I think and we seem to be doing it pretty well at the moment,” Hall said after the race.
“My horse has a very explosive turn-of-foot, I don’t know how sustainable that is, but obviously at the Valley when you hit the front it is hard to be run down.”
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2014 Carlyon Stakes Results
|1||5||ICONIC||Tony McEvoy||Nicholas Hall||–||2||56kg||$10|
|2||13||ANGELS BEACH||Peter G Moody||Glen Boss||0.1L||1||55kg||$6|
|3||11||ANGELIC LIGHT||Robbie Griffiths||Michael Rodd||1.1L||4||55kg||$18|
|4||10||SHAMAL WIND||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||1.3L||8||55kg||$4F|
|5||6||AFRICAN PULSE||Michael Moroney||Craig Newitt||3.05L||11||56kg||$41|
|6||3||VILLA VERDE||Anthony Cummings||Mark Zahra||3.15L||9||57kg||$5|
|7||12||MINAJ (NZ)||Anthony Freedman||Vlad Duric||3.25L||5||55kg||$8.50|
|8||9||JUST A BULLET||Brett Cavanough||Jake Duffy||3.65L||7||56kg||$41|
|9||2||KENCELLA||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||3.85L||3||58kg||$5.50|
|10||1||SEA LORD||Stephen Brown||Damian Lane||6.1L||6||59kg||$71|
|11||7||OUR NKWAZI||Shawn Mathrick||Dwayne Dunn||9.1L||10||56kg||$81|