IT has been over two years since Kris Lees-trained star Prized Icon has won a race but one client of online bookmaker Sportsbet believes the five-year-old can turn his luck around in Saturday’s Group 1 Railway Stakes at Ascot.
The last time Prized Icon saluted was in the 2016 Group 1 Victoria Derby, but one punter was bold enough to invest $10,000 on him to place at odds of $4.
Sportsbet has local hope Galaxy Star as the $3.30 favourite just ahead of Darren Weir trained Peaceful State ($5.00) for the Railway Stakes.
Can Prized Icon place in the Railway Stakes?
While two years out of the winner’s stall seems like a giant red flag, Prized Icon’s form over that period isn’t as bad as the odds suggest.
In 18 starts since the Victoria Derby win Prized Icon has finished second six times, and has twice rounded out the placings. On three more occasions the five-year-old has finished inside the top four and only twice has he finished in the second half of the field.
He is fresh off a fourth placed finish in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes and looks ideally placed to put in a strong performance at Ascot.
Trainer Kris Lees is confident that the horse can break the dry spell.
“He hasn’t won for a couple of years, but he’s raced at the top level,” Lees said. “He’s got a second to Winx and his form backs up pretty well for a race like this.
“For the last six weeks or so it’s always been in the back of my mind. I wasn’t sure whether to run him in the Mackinnon or not, but he ran well. This looks a nice race for him.”
Lees believes the 1600m trip will suit his elect perfectly.
“We’ve kept him fresh for the drop back to the mile.
“Without having a close look at the race, I expect him to be just forward of midfield and try to get a bit of cover.”
Despite the trainer’s confidence, Sportsbet is still willing to take Prized Icon on.
Sportsbet representative Will Byrne believes the punter is playing with fire.
“It’s a brave punter that backs Prized Icon, because he just doesn’t seem to want to win anymore. But he will carry the lightest weight he’s had in years and he has notched a recent placing so tomorrow might be the day.”