Rodney Northam’s WJ Healy Stakes winner Big Money leads the Ramornie Handicap 2014 nominations taken for the Grafton Cup Carnival feature.
Taking place at Grafton Racecourse on the first day of the two day Clarence River Jockey Club’s July Racing Carnival next Wednesday, this year’s $150,000 Listed Crowe Howath Ramornie Handicap (1200m) has this year attracted 24 nominations.
Likely favourite if accepted for New South Wales’ premier country sprint is improving four-year-old Big Money.
The Choisir gelding has been in flying form winning six and running top three in the other four of their 10 career starts to date, including winning three form four this year.
The Scone-based Big Money was last seen stepping up to black-type company for the first time in their Brisbane debut at Eagle Farm on June 21.
There they thrived over the 1200m and, after a run up the middle, got their neck out and grabbed the leader Cape Kidnappers in the final stride to win by a long neck with the country’s most prolific jockey Robert Thompson in the saddle.
Along with Big Money there are four other last start winners among the Ramornie Handicap nominations this year including Gerald Ryan’s Oakfield Commands.
The Commands six-year-old Oakfield Commands resumed off a six week freshen-up on June 21 to win the $85,000 Winter Dash (1200m) at Randwick and is going after back-to-back wins here.
That was their first run for Ryan having been transferred from the care of Darren Smith, the Newcastle trainer under investigation for the use of cobalt.
Also coming via the Winter Dash is third placed Testarhythm for Broadmeadow’s Benjamin Smith.
The son of Testa Rosa enjoyed a win in the Listed Ortenisa Stakes (1100m) at Scone in May before their third in the Winter Dash beaten only one and a half lengths.
Also coming off a win are then Gold Coast visitor Cheval Du Feu with previous Grafton form, Cosmic Glow from Coffs Harbour and the in-form Little Brown Horse for Kelly Doughty.
Five-year-old Waterford Road mare Little Brown Horse has won her past two on the trot, most recently carrying 56.5kg to victory in a 1300m fillies-and-mares handicap at the Sunshine Coast on Caloundra Cup Day.
Another notable nominee is the Jarrod Austin-trained Territory who will be ridden by top Sydney jockey Tye Angland making the trip next week.
The Lonhro gelding ran seventh in the Winter Dash, which they’ll be looking to improve on, but won two straight in Sydney on Slow-rated tracks back in March.
Other notable Ramornie Handicap nominees include Brian Smith’s Brisbane visitor Bymonashee, the in-form David Pfieffer-trained mare Cradle Me, Gai Waterhouse’s stakes winner Under The Sun, WJ Healy sixth placed Metallurgical and Mr Favulous.
See below for the full Ramornie Handicap 2014 nominations, final acceptances closing on Monday July 7 at 9am.
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2014 Ramornie Handicap Nominations
Grafton Racecourse – 09/07/2014
|1||ADABOY ROSS||Con Karakatsanis||71|
|2||BANDIT QUEEN||Mark Lynch||68|
|3||BIG MONEY||Rodney Northam||–|
|5||CHEVAL DU FEU||David Kelly||71|
|6||COSMIC GLOW||Gordon Yorke||62|
|7||CRADLE ME||David Pfieffer||89|
|8||HIDDEN ROCK||Mark Lynch||49|
|9||HIDDEN WARRIOR||Gordon Yorke||99|
|10||JET STYLE||Sue Grills||82|
|12||LITTLE BROWN HORSE||Kelly Doughty||–|
|13||METALLURGICAL||John P Thompson||–|
|14||MR FAVULOUS||Donald Baker||84|
|15||OAKFIELD COMMANDS||Gerald Ryan||94|
|16||PUNJAB ROCKET||Hunter Kilner||72|
|18||ROCKY KING||Tom Bourke||–|
|19||STARTSMEUP||Bruce W Hill||–|
|23||UNDER THE SUN (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||97|