Consistent sprinter Big Money returned to his best form with a fast-finishing victory in the 2016 Southern Cross Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Rich Enuff was very well-backed in the lead-up to the Southern Cross Stakes, but jockey Kerrin McEvoy made the interesting decision not to take up the running on the Caulfield Guineas runner-up and Aussies Love Sport took up the running, while Big Money was settled in the second half of the field.
Rich Enuff went past Aussies Love Sport before he was challenged by Decision Time and Big Money appeared on the scene late, scoring a very narrow victory in an exciting three way photo finish.
Big Money was not overly impressive in the Summer Sprint (1000m) at Royal Randwick on January 16 or the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on January 30, but trainer Rodney Northam was very confident heading into the Southern Cross Stakes and he was thrilled to see his star galloper return to winning form.
“I thought he would take a couple of runs because he had a long spell and this race looked perfect for him today,” Northam said.
“We got a good track, which he really appreciates and it was just good to get him back in the winner’s circle.
“In the last week his coat has really got a glow to it and he is feeling well.
“Hopefully we can go on to something a little bit better.
“I haven’t really set a target and I thought that we would just pick her way through.
“We could either go to the Liverpool City Cup or there are a few other options.
“I’ll just see how he pulls up and we will go from there.”
Jockey Robert Thompson has travelled right around the country to ride Big Money and he timed his run to perfection to take out the 2016 Southern Cross Stakes.
Big Money was unable to perform at his best during his winter campaign in 2015 and he was troubled by a number of nagging injuries, but Thompson feels that the Choisir gelding is now in excellent condition and was quick to pay credit to the training performance of Northam.
“It is great that he is back on the winners list,” Thompson said.
“He had a shocking campaign last time and Rod have a lot of trouble with his feet, but he seems to be over that now and he still has the will to win.
“The leaders kept kicking, but the little fella pinned his ears back and wanted to get to them.”