Trainer Rod Northam is happy with the condition of Big Money heading into the 2015 Doomben 10,000, but he believes that the barrier draw will be key to the chances of the talented sprinter in the Group 1 event on Saturday.
Big Money started his autumn campaign with a slightly disappointing performance in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 18, but he returned to his best form with an unlucky sixth behind Hot Snitzel in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 9.
Northam told Racing Ahead yesterday that Big Money has progressed well coming out of the BTC Cup, but he is hoping that the Choisir gelding will draw a gate that will allow jockey Robert Thompson to settle the five-year-old closer to the speed.
“He has progressed really nicely since his last start and we haven’t had any hiccups at all,” Northam said.
“We are well on target for Saturday.
“We have been dictated as to how we have ridden him by the barrier draw, but his run last start was really good and hopefully we can draw a gate in the Doomben 10,000 and that way we can just sit off the speed and he has been effective doing that.
“If we can draw a gate we would much prefer that then riding for a bit of luck.
“Anything inside six would be great and it sort of gets more difficult the further out you draw, with the way that the track is laid out.”
Northam admits that he has had some minor issues with the feet of Big Money since he started his autumn campaign, but he revealed that the gelding had not shown any signs of these problems since his run in the BTC Cup and he said that the two-time Group 3 winner had produced an outstanding piece of trackwork in his final major hit-out before the 2015 Doomben 10,000.
“It has been super,” Northam said.
“We have had a few little issues with him this prep with his feet, but since his last start he has been 100 percent and his work this morning was probably the best since he has been in work.
“I am really quite happy with him going into Saturday.”
Big Money is currently available at 2015 Doomben 10,000 odds of $21 with Ladbrokes, while Srikandi ($6.50) is now a narrow favourite from Our Boy Malachi ($7.50), Generalife ($8.50) and Knoydart ($9).