Queensland’s number one three year old Sizzling is on track for the $1m Magic Millions 3yo Guineas Plate (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 12 after producing his tell-tale powerful finish to score first up at Eagle Farm last Saturday.
Trainer Kelso Wood said that he thought that Sizzling was going as good as ever after gathering in the leaders to score by one and a half lengths from the Brian Guy trained Platinum State in the Listed $100,000 Brodie’s Gold Edition Plate (1200m).
“I think he’s going better now than he’s ever gone,” Wood said.
“His trackwork’s been outstanding and when I jumped him out on Tuesday over 800 metres he made up about 12 lengths without being really pushed.”
“It’s unbelievable what that horse can run for his last 150 metres.”
Chris Munce quickly dispelled any concerns punters had after taking the short odds and after sitting three wide for the majority of the race, allowed last Winters’s two year old star reel in the leaders and score a comfortable win in the finish.
“I just kept him out of trouble early and mid-race because I didn’t want him getting buffeted about in the ruck,” Munce said.
“I wasn’t too worried about sitting three deep on a good speed like that because I knew they’d come back to me.
“About the 500 metres they skipped away and I thought `well this is going to test you boy, we’ll see how good you are’ but he never fails to deliver.
“What he did today was breathtaking. He’s an amazing animal – I love him dearly.”
The Snitzel colt proved that he is back to his best after failing to perform at his top in a brief Spring Carnival campaign which saw him unplaced at two starts in top three year old company.
Wood took Sizzling to Caulfield for the $250,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on October 13 and after not being suited by the pace finished strongly for fourth to Snitzerland.
Then the three year old pulled up with back muscle problems after struggling into sixth place behind Nechita in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 3.
Sizzling will get his chance to turn the tables on the Gai Waterhouse trained Driefontein in the Magic Millions Guineas after the filly won last year’s $2m BMW Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on protest with Sizzling finishing fourth.
Munce will find out later this week if he will be available to ride Sizzling in the Magic Millions when he meets with his doctors to determine the starting date of his radiotherapy treatment for his recently diagnosed throat cancer.
“I don’t know when my treatment starts,” he said.
“It is going to be in January but there is no date yet. I might find out more in the next few days.
“I’m hoping I will be able to ride at the Magic Millions but, obviously, it will be up to the doctors.”
Once treatment starts, Munce will be out of the saddle for three months and if he is forced to miss the Magic Millions Carnival in January, is hoping to be fit to ride during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Driefontein will start her Magic Millions assault on Thursday at Wyong when the Fastnet Rock filly lines up in the $100,000 Magic Millions Wyong 3yo Stakes (1200m).
Waterhouse has prepared Driefontein for her return with two Randwick barrier trials, the latest a three length win from stablemate Rock ‘N’ Pop over 1000m on December 3.
Sizzling was the star of the this year’s Brisbane Winter Carnival and as a two year was undefeated from four starts over the Carnival, climaxing with a last stride win in the Group 1 $500,000 Patinack Farm T J Smith (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 9.