Trainer Rod Northam is hopeful Big Money can post a second win in the Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) when the popular veteran lines up for the country feature race in Grafton on Wednesday afternoon.
Big Money won the 2014 edition of the Ramornie Handicap via a dominant performance to find the line a comfortable length in the clear of Rocky King, and has undoubtedly been the stable star for Northam through his entire career in posting ten wins and six minors through a total of twenty-five starts.
Having not been seen at the races since failing to make an impact and twelfth in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on June 11th, Northam told AAP he is pleased with Big Money’s condition and is hopeful the Grafton conditions remain positive.
“The thing about Grafton is you’ve got a good, long straight and every horse gets a chance,” Northam said.
“We’d like a firm surface where he can make up ground from behind them in a genuinely run race.
“When you’re brought up in country NSW, it’s a race you always want to win. It was a great thrill to win it.”
Northam confirmed the Choisir gelding will return to the paddock after the Ramornie Handicap, with a view towards Sydney Spring Carnival targets.
“After the Ramornie, he’ll have a little freshen-up and then have a go at Sydney in the spring and see where we go from there,” he said.
“There’s lots of little options so we’ll determine it based on how he’s going.”
Big Money returned to racing this year with a credible performance for third in the Summer Sprint (1000m) at Randwick on January 16th, before making a strong return to black type company when third in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m).
Returning to winning form in the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1300m) on February 27th, Big Money failed to make anything of an impact when tenth in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) on February 27th, but finished an impressive sixth amongst particularly classy company in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in his only other start prior to the Stradbroke Handicap.
Big Money will leave from barrier 14 in the 2016 Ramornie Handicap, and has been charged with carrying a race-high 59kgs.
Ladbrokes Australia currently rates Big Money a $7 chance in 2016 Ramornie Handicap betting markets.