Crystal Icon set to shine
Trainer Sion Zahra believes Crystal Icon will enjoy his weight relief when he runs in the Late Starter Membership Handicap (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
The Flemington-based mentor said the four-year-old had managed to overcome the top weight to win two of his past three starts, the most recent at Wangaratta earlier this month. He is 25/1 to win on Saturday, while Adios Muchachos is 13/2 and Be Tolerant is at 66/1.
You've got to give him a go at this sort of level and he's earned it.Sion Zahra
"It was a pretty tough sort of win the other day, he had 60 kilos...so we thought we'd bring him to town and have a crack at this time of the year," Zahra said.
"He's had 60 kilos his last three starts. When you're always carrying the top weight it's good to get them out of their grade a bit more and let them drop in weight."
Zahra believes Crystal Icon can be excused for his fourth at Pakenham two starts back.
"Forget about the Pakenham run, he didn't really cope with the heat that day and he ran accordingly," he said.
"He probably should be three out of four wins this time in."
Zahra said Crystal Icon more than deserves his chance in the city - and he hopes Saturday's run will earn him a permanent berth in town.
"You've got to give him a go at this sort of level and he's earned it," he said.
"That was the reason we pulled up stumps in the middle of winter, to run him through summer and see if he can graduate into town."
While he will be down in weight to 53.5kg with the help of Tom Sadler's three kilo claim, Crystal Icon has drawn wide, but Zahra feels he will be in better form than he was at Wangaratta.
"He's drawn a tricky gate again (11) but we hope he can just get a little bit of luck because I think he's improved out of (winning at) Wangaratta," he said.
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