Jockey Blake Shinn has described the gear change for Prized Icon in Saturday’s 2016 Gloaming Stakes at Rosehill Gardens as a “great move” by trainer James Cummings who takes the blinkers off his Group 1 winning colt.
Shinn is gearing up for a gun book of rides on Golden Pendant Day this weekend with a mount in seven of the nine races on the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival program.
One of his top chances is on Cummings’ More Than Ready three-year-old Prized Icon third-up in the $200,000 Group 3 Schweppes Gloaming Stakes (1800m).
It is the first official ride under race conditions Shinn has jumped aboard the progressive staying type, but he rode him for a strong 1200m trial at Randwick on Tuesday morning.
Prized Icon is best known for his Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) win from mid-April during his juvenile season.
He has had two runs this time in, both at Randwick, the latest a disappointing sixth when failing to beat home any of his rivals in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) won in the wet by Hartnell.
Hartnell franked that form winning again last Saturday by a runaway six lengths in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m), while Prized Icon runs this weekend looking to atone for the loss.
Shinn is tipping improvement with the blinkers coming off as the horse races over further than a mile for the first time in the set weights Gloaming Stakes.
“I’ve only had one sit on him and that was in a trial at Randwick on Tuesday,” Shinn told Racenet.
“He wore blinkers in the trial and just wanted to go a touch keen early so in the horse’s best interests James has decided to take the blinkers off.
“I think that is a great move by James. The horse is already a Group I winner and if I can get him to relax within himself he should be winning.”
The bookies agree with Shinn’s positive assessment of Prized Icon and have the horse installed as the $3.60 favourite in the latest Gloaming Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
He drops in class from the tough Chelmsford run last time out and up in distance third-up should be set to peak.
His main danger according to the Gloaming Stakes betting markets is High Mist, backed in from $4.40 to $3.90.
Jumping one on the inside of Prized Icon from gate two with Glyn Schofield in the saddle, High Chaparral colt High Mist is one of two in the line-up for champion trainer Chris Waller along with Veladero ($10).
High Mist ran second first-up to Swear in the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) in the wet at Randwick before a confidence-boosting mile win at Warwick Farm on September 14.
Stablemate Veladero meanwhile has won his past two on the trot, but sees his first Group race field on the weekend with Waller confident the extra metres will be to the colt’s liking.
“He was just a good type with a reasonable page and I thought, once you mature you are going to make it,” Waller told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“We have seen that in his two runs this time in, which he has won, and I think his real strength will come through at the 1800 metres.
“[The Gloaming] is one of those races where you find out a lot about horses, but I’m confident he will come though and run well.”
Check out the latest Gloaming Stakes 2016 betting odds and offers online now at Ladbrokes.com.au!