The Kelso Wood trained three year old Sizzling remains the horse to beat in the $1m Gold Coast Magic Millions 3yo Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 12 after the final field was declared today.
The Group 1 winner heads a smart field of three year olds which includes last year’s $2m BMW Magic Millions 2yo Classic winner Driefontein and runner up No Looking Back as well as Lucky Hussler who defeated Sizzling at his last run at Doomben.
Top jockey Chris Munce, who had to give up the mount to big race rider Craig Williams said that Sizzling didn’t feel himself when he failed to peg back Lucky Hussler when second in the Group 3 $150,000 Brisbane Racing Club Vo Rogue (1350m) at Doomben on December 29.
“During the race he travelled a bit more keenly than I wanted him to and it was similar to how he raced at Flemington when he was beaten,” Munce said.
“Normally he settles nice and relaxed but he really got up on the bridle and wanted to get going which isn’t like him.”
“When he got the split I thought he would be able to pick up the winner but he really made hard work of it,” he said.
“He wasn’t the same horse and I felt if he was at the top of his game he should’ve been able to pick up the ground on the winner that he needed to.”
Munce who is the regular rider for Sizzling and combined with the then two year old to win the Group 1 $500,000 Patinack Farm T J Smith (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 9 will be cheering from the sidelines on Saturday after having to forego the ride while receiving treatment to combat throat cancer.
Top Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse will be hoping to quinella the Magic Millions 3yo Guineas with Driefontein and No Looking Back after finishing first and second in the two year old Magic Millions last year.
But Randwick’s leading trainer will be hoping for less drama this year after having to sit through a dramatic protest hearing in which stewards reversed the placings after they found that No Looking Back had impeded Driefontein over the final fifty metres.
Waterhouse’s stable rider Tommy Berry has stuck with Driefontein after winning on her last year even though the pair were beaten first up by She’s A Stalker in the $100,000 Wyong Magic Millions 3yo Stakes (1200m) at Wyong on December 20.
And even tough Berry scored on No Looking Back at her first run back from a spell in the Listed $100,000 Carrington Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on January 1, the young jockey has kept faith with Driefontein.
Sizzling heads the Magic Millions 3yo Guineas market at $3.90 ahead of Driefontein at $6 while Lucky Hussler joins No Looking Back on the $7 line.
The Robert Heathcote trained Heza Jetsetter in at $7.50 after finishing third in the Vo Rogue with She’s A Stalker the only other runner under double figures at $9.50.