An improving track for Doomben Cup day could go against the chances of Sizzling turning the tables on arch rival Academus in the Group 3 $125,000 Grinders Coffee Fred Best Classic (1350m) tomorrow.
Following last weekend’s rain and some showers earlier in the week, the Doomben track was posted as a slow 7 at acceptance time on Wednesday but was upgraded to a slow 6 on Friday morning.
Being by Snitzel, Sizzling handles a wet track with ease having won twice on the heavy while Academus has one second from one go on the heavy.
With sunny skies forecast from now until the weekend, there is a great possibility that the track could sneak into the dead range for Saturday.
Trainer Kelso Wood has reported that Sizzling has come through his tough run at the Gold Coast two weeks ago okay and is looking forward to Saturday’s rematch with the Peter Snowden trained three year old.
“He loves the wet and just has to get away from the fence,” Wood said.
“He’s come through it well and he galloped on the course proper this week but I haven’t needed to do a lot with him.”
Sizzling worked with stablemate Belltone on Tuesday morning and had the better of the seven year old at the end of an 800m gallop out wide on a heavy Doomben proper course.
Snizzling had the wood on Academus last winter with three wins from three meetings including a victory in the Group 1 $500,000 Patinack Farm T J Smith (1600m) at Eagle Farm.
But Academus was able to reverse that at the Gold Coast two weeks ago with a solid first up win in the Group 3 $125,000 Pacific Petroleum Gold Coast Guineas (1200m).
Chris Munce said that Sizzling was never a winning chance after leaving the barriers slowly and was never going to pick up the leaders with a slick race time of 1.08.72s for the 1200m.
But to his credit Sizzling tried hard in the straight after being blocked for a run and was only beaten two and a half lengths to finish fifth.
“I thought it was an outstanding run,” Wood said.
“He was cut out at the start and the way the race was run it was hard for him to pick up ground.”
“I don’t want him caught up on the fence in a big field like that.”
The step up to 1350m this week will be in Sizzling’s favour and the result of the Fred Best Classic will give Wood a clearer idea how his colt is shaping up for Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm in three weeks.
Wood will give Sizzling one more run before heading into the Stradbroke Handicap and will line the Snitzel colt up the week before at Eagle Farm in the Group 2 $350,000 Sky Racing Queensland Guineas (1400m).
The Eagle Farm trainer will saddle up Belltone in the last, the Group 3 $125,000 Darley BRC Sprint (1350m) and his chances will be vastly improved if the track continues to dry out.
Even though Belltone has wins beside his name on wet tracks, he is a much better galloper on top of the ground and Wood expects him to improve on his first up fifth to Famous Seamus in the Listed $175,000 Carlton Draught Prime Minister’s Cup (1300m) at the Gold Coast two weeks ago.
“He ran very well at the Coast and I’m sure he will be competitive,” Wood said.
Academus is a slight favourite at $3.30 over Sizzling who is at $3.50 in the Fred Best Classic with the Chris Waller trained Boban the only other runner under double figures at $8.