Trainer Rodney Northam believes that the step-up to 1200 metres for the 2014 W.J. Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday is ideal for promising sprinter Big Money.
Big Money has had just one race start over 1200 metres, when he finished second behind Target In Sight in the Ascend Sales Trophies Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Boxing Day last year, but Northam is confident that the Choisir gelding is looking for the extra distance after making up plenty of ground late when second behind Cape Kidnappers in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm on June 7.
“He had a fair run in the Lightning and got held up for a few strides coming to the turn, but when he straightened he hit the line well,” Northam said.
“He’s looking for further now and I’m happy to see him over 1200 metres.
“He doesn’t like getting beaten and has done well.
“The best thing about going to 1200 metres is he’ll be able to travel better and be able to quicken.”
Big Money will be making his debut at Group level in the W.J. Healy Stakes and has earned an opportunity in this sort of race because of the consistent results that he has recorded during his racing career to date.
The four-year-old has finished first or second in each of his race starts since he made his racing debut in a maiden at Gunnedah in June last year and has gone to another level during his winter campaign.
Big Money was denied a maiden metropolitan victory by Social Rank and Target In Sight in the last two starts of his summer campaign, but he returned to winning form in the Autumn Sprint (1000m) at Muswellbrook on May 2 before making it two wins on the trot with a dominant victory over Pompidou and Rock Magic in the Segenhoe Stud Handicap (1100m) at Scone on May 17.
Northam is chasing his first win at Group level in Queensland since he took out the 2007 edition of the Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) with Rosa’s Spur and also has Myamira in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara.
Big Money ($5.50) is currently on the third line of 2014 W.J. Healy Stakes betting markets; with classy mare Bennetta ($3.70) a narrow favourite from Lightning Handicap winner Cape Kidnappers ($4).