Trainer Kelso Wood will stick to three year old races for his stable star Sizzling as the colt heads towards the Group 1 $1m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.
Sizzling is resuming on Saturday at the Gold Coast in the Group 3 $125,000 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) and Wood is likely to stick to his own age as he progresses towards his main goal of the Stradbroke.
Wood gave Sizzling three runs over the Summer before heading for a break after a narrow second to Saluter in the $820,000 Gold Coast Magic Millions 3yo Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 12.
The Snitzel colt raced through last year’s Brisbane Winter Carnival undefeated culminating with a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Patinack Farm T J Smith (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 9 and Wood is planning on adding another Winter Group 1 to his record.
“My job as a trainer is to win races,” Wood said.
“He would be carrying the same weight in the weight-for-age races, so it makes sense to take on his own age.
“I’ve spoken to the handicappers and they assure me he’ll get a run in the Stradbroke and running in the Guineas gives him the same seven-day back-up into the Stradbroke as we used to win the T.J. last year.”
Wood was referring the Group 2 $350,000 Sky Racing Queensland Guineas (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 1 which will be Sizzling’s last run before the Stradbroke the following weekend.
Top jockey Chris Munce is anxiously looking forward to reuniting with Sizzling after only recently returning to the saddle after undergoing intensive treatment for throat cancer.
“The horse looks fantastic,” Munce said.
The Kelly Schweida trained Better Than Ready and Group 1 bridesmaid Buffering also lead the local hopes against the southern invaders in the major Winter sprint.
Better Than Ready scored an impressive win after a short break over 1000m at Eagle Farm on April 20 while Robert Heathcote is tipping this could be Buffering’s best campaign after the five year old demolished a smart weight for age field in the Group 2 $175,000 Coca-Cola Victory Stakes (1200m) at Doomben last Saturday.
Sizzling is set to clash again with the Jason McLachlan trained Saluter in the Guineas on Saturday in a huge sixteen horse field plus five emergencies.
Munce will bury Sizzling away from barrier six while Damian Browne will be looking for a forward spot on Saluter after drawing gate ten.