After a brave fourth in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast on Saturday, Eagle Farm horseman Kelso Wood will send his smart colt Sizzling to the spelling paddock bypassing the autumn carnival in Sydney and the 2012 Golden Slipper.
While it is full steam ahead to the $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on April 7 for Gai Waterhouse’s flying fillies Driefontein and No Looking Back who ran the Magic Millions Classic quinella, in reverse order over the line but switched upon protest, Sizzling will enjoy a well-deserved rest before being bought back for the juvenile features of the 2012 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival in his home town.
Well liked all throughout the Magic Millions Classic betting, Sizzling followed in the hoofsteps of his famous father Snitzel in failing to take out the $2 million Gold Coast feature.
Snitzel ran third to Bradbury’s Luck as the beaten favourite back in 2005, and on Saturday Sizzling tried his hardest and finished off strongly but could only manage to finish one and three quarters off the first over when fourth.
While the huge prize money for the Golden Slipper 2012 this Sydney Autumn Carnival certainly presents a temptation, Wood has confirmed that Sizzling would be rested now and that a rematch with his Magic Millions rivals had been taken off the table.
“He’s done a good job to get to the Million,” Wood said.
“I think he deserves a nice rest now rather than have a week off and get to Sydney.
“He has shown us he struggles to stay in touch at 1200 metres and the Slipper is going to be tougher than the Millions.”
Wood said Sizzling had a few minor cuts following their Magic Millions run but had otherwise pulled through well.
During the Winter Carnival in Brisbane Wood named the $250,000 Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 2 and then the $500,000 Group 1 TJ Smith (1600m) back at the track the following Saturday as the two major winter targets for Sizzling.
“He did get a few abrasions to the off-hind leg but he’s fine and can enjoy several weeks off before we get him ready for the BRC Sires Produce and TJ Smith at the Eagle Farm Carnival,” Wood said.
Following the winter Wood will then turn his attention to the iconic Sydney & Melbourne Spring Racing Carnivals with Sizzling whose grand aims are likely to be the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on September 10 and the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in Melbourne on October 8.
Another Magic Millions Classic contender that is far from a confirmed candidate for the Golden Slipper Stakes this year is Gerald Ryan’s Sydney youngster Amorino.
The late market mover in Saturday’s MM Classic when backed in from $7 to $3.60, fellow Snitzel colt Amorino was disappointing when finishing three lengths away sixth, a full length off the fifth-placed $31 roughie Mrs Gray.
While cleared of any injury that could explain their performance other than failure to fire under big-race pressure, Amorino will still be monitored closely by Ryan who was hesitant to confirm any concrete Golden Slipper plans.
“I went over his legs thoroughly and pushed and prodded but there is nothing wrong with him (physically),” Ryan said.
“I think the horse may have been a little hesitant in between horses in a big field like that, it was something he hadn’t experienced before and he just didn’t look comfortable.”
At this stage Ryan is leading towards skipping the Slipper and bringing Amorino back instead for the $500,000 Group 1 AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 14 and then the $400,000 Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) a fortnight later.
“A lot will depend on how he comes back from a let-up but I wouldn’t be surprised if he just goes towards the (AJC) Sires’ Produce and then Champagne Stakes,” Ryan said.
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