Gawler based trainer Gordon Carter will be hoping that his stable’s latest acquisition can continue the good form of South Australian trainers at Moonee Valley this season, when his galloper Iconic lines up in Heat 2 of the 55 Second Challenge.
Carter was offered the chance to train the Stakes winning Iconic earlier in the year and jumped at the opportunity.
“I was thrilled to have the chance to train a horse of his calibre and I thought it’s definitely worth a crack!”
Iconic began his career in 2012 under the care of Tony McEvoy and won three of his first six races. He then went on to run second in the Group 2 Rubiton stakes behind Lankan Rupee in 2014 and contested the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate a couple weeks later.
His next and last win came in August of 2014 when he won the Listed Carlyon Stakes at Moonee Valley over the 1000m.
While it’s been over three years between drinks for the seven-year-old gelding, Carter thinks he’s a big chance to turn that form around very soon.
“He’s got a few problems but I think I’ve developed a way around them. We only have a small team here and I think he loves the one on one attention we can give him. I’ve tailored an individual program for him and he seems to be liking it. The environment at Gawler seems to suit him, he can get out on the track in the morning and just be by himself as he can be a grumpy old bugger at times.”
Iconic almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the year when he went down by three quarters of a length two weeks ago at Morphettville. He jumped at $101 and led for the majority of the race before being swamped late by a fast finishing field.
“I gave him a jump out at Gawler that week and thought he might be a chance. He was probably just a run short there but I really had my fingers crossed in the last 50 metres.”
After her positive ride on Iconic last start, in-form apprentice Raquel Clark will again partner Iconic at Moonee Valley.
“I wanted to use the claim over there and after Raquel’s ride the other week, I thought why change a good combination? She’s thrilled to head over and take the ride and I think we’re going to make a bit of an impact over there.”
Carter has had one runner at Moonee Valley in his career. Last year, his stayer Nomis ran second in a 3000m race behind Bullish Stock and he will be hoping to go one better on Friday night.
“I reckon he’s a good chance on Friday night. He was only 1.5 lengths off Lankan Rupee at the Valley in the 2014 Manikato and he missed the kick that night. He’s the veteran of the field and he’s in a good frame of mind at the moment. As long as he travels well, eats up and settles happily I think he’s a really good chance, not only for Friday but for the whole series.”