Hugh Bowman is set to take the ride on veteran sprinter Big Money in Saturday’s Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens, with regular hoop Robert Thompson to ride at the Karaka Million meeting in New Zealand.
Big Money has made a total of twenty-nine appearances at the races since making his competitive debut in the winter of 2013, and Thompson has partnered the gelding on twenty-one of those occasions.
The stable star for the Scone-based trainer through his entire racing career to date, Northam has been pleased with what the Choisir gelding has been able to produce through two starts this time in and is confident that he will lay a typically good account for himself in the 2017 Expressway Stakes.
“He’s been a great little horse,” Northam told AAP.
“He’s been honest and pays for his honesty a little bit. He’s always very high in the ratings but he always tries his hardest.”
Further to a new jockey in the saddle, Northam revealed that Big Money will sport blinkers for the first time in the Expressway Stakes.
“He’s worked with blinkers a lot over the years but we thought we might just try and see if we can find an extra length or two out of him,” he said.
A multiple black type winner, Big Money has found a good portion of his success in Brisbane feature races and won each of the Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m), Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) and Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) in 2014.
2016 was a typically smart year for the consistent gelding, who resumed for consecutive third-place finishes in each of the Summer Sprint (1000m) and Expressway Stakes before returning to winning form in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m).
Having returned from a freshen-up for sixth in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m), Big Money failed to fire in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) but responded with an agonizingly-close second in the Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton on July 23rd.
Clearly requiring a run when he placed seventh in the George Moore Stakes first-up this time, Big Money was last seen running on for fifth in the Listed Canterbury Classic 91200m) on New Year’s Eve.