Wantabadgery galloper Sizzleonthebridge added a second Country Cup to his resume at Tocumwal on Saturday when taking out the $22,000 feature.
The Rodger Waters-trained six-year-old, which won the 2021 Towong Cup, was given a gun ridge by apprentice jockey Hannah Williams, leading all the way over the 1300m, holding off the Bryan Maher-trained Sly Samba Deer (Hannah Le Blanc) by 0.02 of a length, while in third and 0.76 of a length off the pace was the Mitch Beer-trained Mnementh (Fiona Sandkhul) in third.
Sizzleonthebirdge started the $4.50 second favourite, and Waters admitted he was surprised to see his Sizzling gelding beat $1.80 race favourite, Mnementh.
“I knew my horse would run really well, but I didn’t think he would beat Mnementh,” Waters said.
“It had won the Albury City Handicap last start, which is the second-best sprint race in Southern NSW and it’s a good horse and we were pretty close to it in the weights.
“I honestly thought he (Mnementh) might have had the wood on him (Sizzleonthebridge).”
A tactical decision and Williams’ good ride proved the difference in the end, with the Albury galloper unable to run down the early leaders.
“We decided the only chance we had was to go hard and go early and make the other horse carry his weight and that’s what we did,” Waters said.
“Hannah gave him a good dig out and led on settling down, then let him settle in for a breather before giving him another good go and he hung on and won well.
“It was a good run by the second horse (Sly Samba Deer) too, which did all the chasing the whole way, and we dropped it twice and it kept coming.
“It was only a small field, but it was a good race and a good finish.”
Sizzleonthebridge has turned into a very nice horse for connections, starting 44 times for 9 wins and 14 minor placings and earning connections just shy of $150,000 in prizemoney.
Waters explained that it was one race at Wagga last preparation, which seemed to be a tide-turning result for his gelding.
“He got beat a half-head in a race on Wagga Cup day last year and it was a good race,” Waters said.
“The winner Kurocaine; it came out and won three afterwards and Zakeriz led them up in that race and he went on to win some nice races.
“It was a good form race, and although he got beaten, he did mix it with them, and we quickly realised that he had improved a lot in the previous 12 months.”
Sizzleonthebridge could be in action again over the Wagga Gold Cup carnival, which is to be held early next month, but Waters explained there were multiple options on the table as connections worked out their next target.
“There is a (Benchmark) 66 mile at Wagga on Town Plate day, or there is a 1300m Open (Handicap) at Narromine in about 10 days’ time and we will nominate for both and make a decision closer to the time,” Waters said.
Waters’ stable has been in good form in recent months, with his small but talented team winning races all over the Southern East and Southern Districts, and Tumbarumba product explained that he did most of his work out of his Wantabadgery property,
“We have five in work, and most will be worked at our place,” Waters said.
“Any young horse goes into wagga on a Tuesday but other than that, I do it all at home and we have got a good track out here which just follows the Wagga Road.” Readers wanting to check full results from the Tocumwal Cup meeting can click here.