Sizzling stands up in Qld Guineas

| June 2, 2013

SizzlingAn inspired ride from Chris Munce landed a massive betting plunge on Sizzling in the Group Two Queensland Guineas at Eagle Farm.

Munce admitted he had been relieved on two fronts when Sizzling ($3.80) scored by a long neck to Dances of Stars ($41) with a long head to Lucky Hussler ($26).

He had been cleared of throat cancer, which sidelined him for three months, during the week and his favorite horse Sizzling returned to winning form.

“It really has been a week of relief for me. It was great news about the cancer and for Sizzling to win after he had his knockers was also great,” Munce said.

“I didn’t think the horse was going bad but the others had caught up. It was the Sizzling of old today and he put paid to them pretty quickly once he hit the lead.”

Munce will ride Sizzling in next Saturday’s Group One Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), a race he has already won on Dane Ripper (1997) and Landsighting (2000).

KELSO Wood had just one word on his lips after Sizzling burst back into form yesterday – vindication.

The trainer copped plenty of brickbats for the colt’s recent below-par form but those turned into bouquets when the addition of blinkers pulled a rabbit out of the hat in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m).

Sizzling ($3.80) hit the front early in the Eagle Farm straight and then fought like a caged lion to record to fend off challenges from Dances on Stars ($31) and Lucky Hussler ($26).

The winning margin was only a long neck but the win was far more dominant than that and Sizzling is now a serious Stradbroke player after breaking through from some recent questionable runs.

It was pure joy for Munce, capping off an emotional week where he found out he had beaten throat cancer.

And it was a sweet triumph for trainer Kelso Wood who said he hoped the Guineas triumph would silence plenty of critics.

“He has vindicated what I have always thought about him,” Wood, who had to be convinced to try blinkers on Sizzling,” he said.

“It might shut a few people up now.

“I have always been a bit reluctant to put the blinkers on but they certainly helped him.

“He’s a bit older than a bit more relaxed we thought we better try them.

“They probably made him focus a bit more.”

Despite Sizzling not being in the winner’s circle in his previous four runs, Munce insisted he had never lost the faith.

“He was at that stage of his career that he had to measure up today,” Munce said.

“I had faith in the ability of the horse, he just had to put his best foot forward.

“I wanted to be a bit aggressive today and make him race with the blinkers on. It all worked out well.”

The clear pointer to yesterday’s win was a jumpout at Doomben last week where the colt flew in blinkers which had been applied to put his mind on the job.

“When we jumped him out at Doomben the other morning, he pinged the gates and he travelled lovely and really let go when we let him down,” Wood said.

“The fact that he was out wide and had no traffic in front of him really helped him today too.”

Runner-up Dances on Stars produced an enormous run and trainer Gerald Ryan said he was glad the owners did not scratch the gelding because of a bad barrier.

“What the bad barrier did was make us ride him properly and he’s run great,” Ryan said.

Jim Cassidy, who rode third-placed Lucky Hussler, felt missing the start had cost the colt victory.

“If he jumps with them he probably wins,” Cassidy said.

Connections of Lucky Hussler wore ties that matched the horse’s distinctive yellow colours. They were thrilled with the run, given they didn’t even know the horse would be allowed to start until late Thursday.

Lucky Hussler’s trainer Kent Fleming had been disqualified for six months and he was transferred to David Kelly’s stable last Thursday night.



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