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Sizzalating's stunning career revival in the Central West of Queensland

By Jordan Gerrans

It is an understatement to say gelding Sizzalating has enjoyed his move to the central-west of Queensland.

The son of Sizzling could not break through for a maiden triumph in his first 13 trips to the races in his career.

However, once he finally got that winning feeling, Sizzalating has put eight in a line – leading towards this Saturday’s Outback Racing Showcase Final at McKinaly.

Sizzalating started his racing life with Kristy Best at the Sunshine Coast and while he could not crack a win for her team, he was far from disgraced, running a handful of top three finishes in provincial grade around the south-east of the state.

IMG-5680.JPGAfter a 12th placed finish at Ipswich in July of last year, Sizzalating was eventually sold to the Carolans of Blackall, to be trained by Barcaldine trainer Todd Austin.

Since then, he has not been beaten and goes into Saturday’s $30,000 Outback Racing Showcase Final with aims of making it nine on the bounce.

In the winning sequence, six of his eight wins have been by more than three lengths, with two more than lengths ahead of the field in dominant displays.

“He has not looked back since,” owner Bob Carolan said.

“He has gone from a maiden straight through to Open company, which you do not see very often.”

One of the eight victories was at Barcaldine on Tree of Knowledge day with winning rider Alisha Ross meeting Queensland Racing Minister Grace Grace (pictured) post-race. 

Bob, who owns the four-year-old gelding with his wife Pam, has raced gallopers in the bush for the best part of four decades and even dabbled in training himself for a few years.

When former rider Austin finished up in the saddle, Bob quickly realised that the now leading country trainer’s stable would be a better place for his horses to be placed.

They have raced gallopers together since, which includes Birdsville Cup triumphs.

After departing Best's barn, Sizzalating claimed his maiden victory at Blackall by 11.5 lengths just a few months later.

Austin, a butcher by trade, has to take the credit for finding Sizzalating the Carolan’s say, as he did the deal to bring the now star bush horse to the Central West.

Hoop Adam Sewell, who rode the gelding in the majority of his starts for Best, originally recommended Sizzalating to Austin, leading towards the purchase.

“We thought we would gamble on it and bring him out after he pulled up sore from his last start around Brisbane and had a spell, following conversations with the vet,” Bob said.

“He spent some time at my place at Blackall before he went to Todd in Barcaldine and he was going off his brains and I quickly rang Todd and said you need to come and get this horse; he is ready to get back into work.

“He had the three months off.”

Sizzalating is officially in Pam’s name for his ownership, but the pair say they share it all together.

The Carolans have been amazed at their gelding’s stunning turnaround in form and fortunes since arriving in their area and are hopeful it can continue this Saturday in a hot field of country gallopers.

The Outback Racing Showcase included heats at Barcaldine, Gregory Downs, Hughenden, Aramac, Tambo, Mount Isa and Longreach, culminating in Saturday’s Final at McKinlay with the increased prize money of $30,000 on offer.

“He has just had the month spell and now looking towards to McKinlay, there is a few extra horses in that race that we have not seen before,” Pam said.

“It will be a bit of a harder race for him as he has not raced some of this good ones before.

“Tanya Parry has a couple of nice ones in the race.”

Bob, a contract painter by trade around Blackall, is looking forward to racing for the more than usual prizemoney on offer in the 2021 McKinlay Cup over 1500 metres.

“It is great the extra prizemoney; when we won the couple of races to get into the Final, we thought we would give him a bit of a break in the meantime,” he said.

“He has never been over $2 in the market since we started owning him, he has always been odds on.

“The class is a bit harder this Saturday so we might get a better price.”

Pam is hopeful Sizzalating, who qualified at Aramac for the Final in late May, can step up to his biggest test yet.

“His last start at Aramac, he carried that extra weight and still won by a half-head, that was a lucky result,” Pam said.

“It will be good this weekend but a harder race.”

The Carolans also have horses with legendary Blackall horse trainer Charlie Prow.

Points were allocated to horses across the seven Outback Racing Showcase series heats before Saturday’s final but the points did not come into play as the race had nine nominations and acceptors for the Final.