Fashion Icon All Style At Trentham

U S Navy Flag filly Fashion Icon winning at Trentham on Saturday

Peter Didham’s impressive form this season continued at Trentham on Saturday, with eye-catching pair Fashion Icon and Manifique staking their claim for black-type opportunities this summer.

The Awapuni horseman recorded his 13th and 14th victories for the season, equalling his total winning record from 2022/23 from just 70 starts.

Didham kicked off the Trentham meeting in style when promising filly Fashion Icon produced her third win in a row as a $2.70 TAB tote-favourite in the Gee & Hickton Funeral Directors Premier (1400m).

A daughter of U S Navy Flag, Fashion Icon had collected her maiden victory at Woodville on October 5 before making her presence known in Rating 65 company when chasing down race-favourite Pepeha to score at Trentham last-start.

Returning to age-group company on Saturday, Michael McNab positioned Fashion Icon comfortably in the one-one once the six-horse field settled into stride, with the pace making role taken up by Bella Corno. When asked to extend at the top of the long straight, the filly moved to the lead, and kept finding late, holding out the late challenge of Tossuforit by a long neck.

“I was really confident, her work had been outstanding and it wasn’t really a concern going 1200m to 1400m, but it’s still there,” Didham said.

“Michael rode her beautifully, cuddled her up and just waited on the turn and went, and when the other horse came up she fought on. She’s one of those horses that I’m not sure how much class she’s got, but she just puts her ears back and tries hard.

“She’s always in for a dogfight, you saw in her last start, a three-year-old winning a Rating 65. Pepeha had her covered but she stuck her nose out and beat him. She’s a really lovely filly going forward and we’re really excited about her.”

Also part of the ownership group, Didham had intended to step the filly into stakes company last Saturday in the Listed O’Leary’s Fillies Stakes (1340m) at Wanganui, but a minor setback put that plan on hold.

“We were going to run last week in the fillies’ race but she had a little toothache, and nothing was lining up for a rider, so we just cancelled that, went to Plan B and it worked out,” he said.

“I think she will (contest black-type), we lease her off the Bax’s (breeders) and we’re always trying to do the best for everybody.”

McNab had a red-letter day at Trentham, securing four victories on the card which included guiding both of Didham’s winners, alongside the Cody Cole-trained La Verite, and Robbie Patterson’s mare The Hottie.

“She’s (Fashion Icon) just a really genuine little filly. I got a nice run, she picked up really well and was doing enough, and when she felt the other one coming she went again. For not an overly big filly, she’s got a really nice way of going about her,” McNab said.

“She conserves energy well in the race outside the leader, she never touched the bridle and when I asked her to pick up, she picked up well.

“I can’t see why not (contest black-type) off what I felt today, she’s won three in a row which is not easy to do. She’s stepped up today and all you can do is keep raising the bar and seeing what she wants to do.”

Not to be outdone by her younger stablemate, progressive mare Manifique stormed to an 8-1/2 length demolition in the Dunstan Horsefeeds Stayers Championship Qualifier Premier (2200m) later in the card.

-NZ Racing Desk
-Photo Race Images Palmerston North


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