Trainer James Cummings is likely to bypass a trip south for the 2016 Caulfield Guineas with his Group 1 winning colt Prized Icon and instead save the Champagne Stakes champ for the Spring Champion Stakes in Sydney.
A consistent son of More Than Ready, Prized Icon enjoyed a stellar autumn in Sydney that was headlined by his Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) over the Randwick mile in mid-April.
He is now nearing a return to racing to kick off his three-year-old campaign back at Royal Randwick on August 20 in the $125,000 Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m).
Prized Icon had his second trial since his Group 1 win at Royal Randwick on Tuesday morning with Hugh Bowman aboard for a second behind To Be Sure over 1045m on a Heavy (8) track.
The horse, who donned blinkers for the Champagne Stakes win as well as his lead-up victory in the Listed Fernhill Handicap (1600m), impressed Cummings without them on in his hit-out this week.
“I thought he trialled beautifully without the blinkers,” Cummings told Racenet.
“He was well away and always travelled strongly and he was really good to the line.
“Both Hugh and I were very pleased with him.”
After the Up And Coming Stakes Prized Icon is likely to target the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 10.
The last Golden Rose Stakes winner to come off a run in the Up And coming Stakes was Manawanui who completed the double in 2011.
Cummings co-trained the 2014 Golden Rose Stakes winner Hallowed Crown with his late grandfather and champion horseman Bart Cummings, while his father Anthony won the race with On Air (1997) and Duporth (2008).
Prized Icon currently pays $17 in futures Golden Rose Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
All-in Golden Rose betting is led by the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Golden Slipper winner Capitalist.
Capitalist makes a delayed return to racing this weekend in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill after being scratched from last weekend’s Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) due to a bog track.
Prized Icon is also still officially in the mix for the Melbourne’s $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8.
He occupies the third line of pre-field Caulfield Guineas betting at $15 for the win.
Cummings however has hinted at keeping the smart youngster in Sydney for a run in the $500,000 Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) over the extra distance at Randwick on the same day instead.
“He has been nominated for the Guineas but he might not run in that because we might keep him for the Spring Champion because we might not want to clash him with Good Standing,” Cummings said.
Stablemate Good Standing is a nicely-bred son of Artie Schiller, the colt a first-up winner in February’s Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m).
He followed that with a disappointing 10th to Capitalist in the Golden Slipper Stakes before a fifth behind the David Vandkye-trained filly Yankee Rose in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
Good Standing trialled well at Randwick in late July and is currently rated a $19 hope to take out this season’s Caulfield Guineas.
Cummings is also happy with the early progress of his 2016 Thousand Guineas nominated fillies Smart Amelia and Skylight Glow.
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