Just 24 hours prior to the Country Championships Final, trainer Brett Robb stated Sizzle Minizzle had a huge future but may not just be mature enough to win the rich feature this year.
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Fast forward to Saturday afternoon and Robb was celebrating one of the greatest moments in Dubbo racing as his three-year-old powered down the Randwick straight in front of a monster crowd and won as a $61 outsider.
The win was worth $270,000 to Robb and the connections, who mobbed the quietly-spoken trainer as Sizzle Minizzle finished two lengths clear of a field featuring many of the best horses in the bush.
"It means a lot," Robb said in the post-race interviews.
"I've got to thank my team. They're all a young bunch of workers and they love getting winners and they all work really hard.
"I really appreciate having them."
The result marked the first time a qualifier from the western or central racing districts had taken out the country feature event.
It also continued Robb's greatest season as a trainer up to this point, with the former Nyngan boy inside the top 20 most successful trainers in the state.
Sizzle Minizzle made the trip to Penrith on Thursday and that was where Robb spent Friday night before trekking into the city for the final.
When he awoke to the news there was steady rain at Randwick it didn't fill him with great confidence, given his Sizzling gelding had only raced on a Heavy surface once prior to Saturday.
The rain also ruined any hope fellow Dubbo trainer and western qualifier Clint Lundholm had as his contender Smooth Esprit has long struggled on rain-affected surfaces.
Smooth Esprit ultimately finished in 11th in the 16-horse field but the 1400m event was all about Sizzle Minizzle.
Jockey Sam Clipperton sat deep in the field early but around the 600m mark he found space along the inside and was able to move forward and close in on leaders Kimberley Secrets ($7), Our Last Cash ($15) and Talbragar ($4 favourite), the former Dubbo galloper now trained at Tamworth by Cody Morgan.
When Sizzle Minizzle found space members of Robb's team told him it was happening, and Clipperton went on to win in dominant fashion.
"I knew I was coming here with a lot fitter horse than I had at Coonamble," Robb said, Sizzle Minizzle having run second in the western heat last month.
"He missed a bit of work coming into it and he was very brave there for the work he'd done, but between now and then I'd been able to jam more work into him and I'd never had a fitter horse.
"I was nervous about the rain because I didn't think he could handle the wet but he just showed he can."
Much like he did pre-race, Robb said after the win he was confident there was more to come from his new stable star.
"He's still maturing," he said.
"He's a really nice horse and I've always liked the horse, ever since I broke him in.
"I rode him for the first time and then rang Greg (owner) and told him he had a nice horse. He's just taken a little bit longer than we thought for the penny to drop and I think he's still got more improvement in him.
"I think we're going to have a lot of fun with him."
The result moved Robb well past the $1 million in prize money for the season and took Sizzle Minizzle's earning's close to $500,000.
Adding to the victory in one of the biggest races on the calendar is also on Robb's mind as he also has Gallant Star, another hugely exciting galloper, being set towards the $2 million Kosciuszko later this year.
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