A back in-form Sizzling at Eagle Farm on Saturday in the Group 2 $350,000 Sky Racing Queensland Guineas (1400m) could be the icing on the cake for top jockey Chris Munce after he was given the all clear for throat cancer this week.
Munce has only been back in the saddle for just over a month after undergoing cancer treatment and another win on Sizzling would top off a tremendous week.
“Over the moon just got the all clear from the docs. Happy days. Woohoo,” Munce wrote on Facebook and Twitter today.
Munce is happy to be back in action and riding winners after going through some dark times while out of the saddle for three months since January.
“Giving up my career certainly went through my head and I had several conversations with Cathy about it,” Munce said.
“I felt quite down and a bit depressed to a point. And that was beside being so sick with all the cancer treatment. I was in a bad space as far as how I was feeling.
“You have got to be mentally strong to cop having cancer. It is easier said than done to try to be positive all of the time.”
Sizzling has been disappointing at two runs this preparation but a better preference with the blinkers on in a jump out at Doomben today is an encouraging sign.
The Snitzel colt was well back in the field and found it hard to make up any ground in the straight when fifth to Academus in the Group 3 $125,000 Pacific Petroleum Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) at the Gold Coast on May 4.
Then he put in a similar performance when sixth to Platinum Kingdom in the Group 3 $125,000 Grinders Coffee Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben on May 18.
Back to Eagle Farm could also be in Sizzling’s favour after recording his biggest win of his career with Munce aboard, beating Kabayan and Academus in the Group 1 $500,000 Patinack Farm T J Smith (1600m) at Eagle Farm last winter.
Trainer Kelso Wood is also aiming Sizzling towards Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm the following week and a win on Saturday would see the three year old exempt from the Stradbroke ballot.
Darley trainer Peter Snowden is also looking for a free entry ticket into the Stradbroke when Academus takes on Sizzling again in the Guineas.
Sizzling will carry 52kg in the Stradbroke and is currently rated a $14 chance.