Trainer Rod Northam has been thrilled with the form and class displayed by talented sprinter Big Money in the lead-up to his racing return, and is confident he will lay a great account for himself first-up in Saturday’s Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) ahead of a campaign geared towards the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m).
Big Money has finished outside the first three only twice in his 15 start career so-far and has relished the Queensland way of going through several standout trips north over an impressive 2014 racing campaign.
Confident of a positive first-up result on Saturday, Northam told Racing Ahead Big Money will follow the traditional sprinters path through the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and will find the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap fourth-up.
“He’s come through the trial really well and I’m really excited to get him to the races,” Northam said.
“I think he’s just sort of filled out a little bit more; he’s not a big horse but he’s a strong horse and he’s always looked a little bit ‘foaly’ in the mounting yard but he looks like a real horse now and I’m really excited to get him going.
“He’ll run in the BTC sprint and then the (Doomben) 10,000 and then the Stradbroke. 10,000 third run in and Stradbroke fourth run in he should be spot-on.
“The two runs we gave him in Brisbane, the last one over 1350 was just to see if he’d run 1350 and he carried good weight that day too, he carried 59.5 and ran really good sectionals.
“The Stradbroke has always been the aim but if we can win a couple before then that’d be the icing on the cake.”
Arguably finding career-best form to date over the 2014 Brisbane winter, Big Money won a pair of minor sprints before placing second in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1000m) and winning the Group 3 Healy Stakes (1200m); taking out the Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) in Grafton on his return to Scone.
Placing a credible fourth in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) upon resuming in spring, the Choisir gelding was unable to figure when ninth in the Group 2 Salinger Stakes (1200m) but again found peak condition in Brisbane in taking out both the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) and Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m).
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