After a brave late effort to nab a Group 3 win in Brisbane last start, Rodney Northam’s Scone-based galloper Big Money travels to Grafton on Wednesday for the Ramornie Handicap 2014.
One of two lucrative black-types held over the two day Grafton Cup Carnival, this year’s $150,000 Listed Crowe Horwath Ramornie Handicap (1200m) features a final field of 13 hopefuls.
The sure to be favourite of those is Choisir four-year-old Big Money, the gelding after their fourth win from their past five stars.
Super consistent boasting a record of six wins and four seconds from their 10 starts to date, Big Money stepped up to Group 3 class on June 21.
The country’s most prolific jockey Robert Thompson rode them in the Eagle Farm feature and the duo made up lots of late ground to run down the leaders and defeat Cape Kidnappers by a long neck in the WJ Healy Stakes (1200m).
They had plenty of work to do there after jumping from a wide barrier 10 of 10 draw, so are set to relish the inside alley in the Ramornie coming up with barrier one.
Their only disadvantage will be the step up from 54kg in the Healy to 56kg on Wednesday, Thompson retaining the ride.
Heading the Ramornie Handicap field and weights with 59kg this year then is the Gordon Yorke-trained Hidden Warrior.
The Coffs Harbour-based Hidden Dragon four-year-old is second-up for this prep after running fourth with 58kg at Randwick on June 7 in the Listed June Stakes (1100m) in the mud.
There are plenty of in-form gallopers meanwhile coming off an excellent lead-up including equal 58kg second top weight Testarhythm.
Drawn nicely in barrier three with Tim Clark to ride, Benjamin Smith’s Testa Rossa six-year-old won the Listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m) first-up at Scone in May and was last seen running a close third to Oakfield Commands carrying 57.5kg in the Winter Dash (1200m).
Others who ran well last start include Toowoomba-trained Mr Favulous coming off three seconds place finishes including behind Excellantes in the Ascot Handicap last weekend, David Kelly’s Gold Coast galloper Cheval Du Feu who ran third at Grafton on July 3 and runner-up in that same race Bandit Queen.
Peter Ball’s Villamill meanwhile beat home Cheval Du Feu and Bandit Queen in the John Carlton Cup and will be after back-to-back wins at the track and distance when they jump from gate 11 in the Ramornie.
See below for the full Ramornie Handicap 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2014 Ramornie Handicap Final Field & Barrier Draw
Grafton Race 7 (3:42pm) – 09/07/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||48518928×4||HIDDEN WARRIOR||Gordon Yorke||–||2||59kg||99|
|2||1135x68x13||TESTARHYTHM||Benjamin Smith||Tim Clark||3||58kg||97|
|3||12178x790x||UNDER THE SUN (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Paul King||5||58kg||97|
|4||4625311×57||TERRITORY||Jarrod Austin||Tye Angland||13||56.5kg||94|
|5||x1122x1121||BIG MONEY||Rodney Northam||Robert Thompson||1||56kg||93|
|6||1211515×38||ROCKY KING||Tom Bourke||Tegan Harrison (a)||9||56kg||93|
|7||89368×7576||STARTSMEUP||Bruce W Hill||Paul Hammersley||6||54.5kg||90|
|8||6x17973x09||LIESELE||Liam Birchley||Glen Colless||8||54kg||90|
|9||4461418222||MR FAVULOUS||Donald Baker||–||12||54kg||84|
|10||23616×3191||VILLAMILL||Peter Ball||Matthew Paget||11||54kg||83|
|11||42117×4660||JET STYLE||Sue Grills||Andrew Gibbons||7||54kg||82|
|12||16290×1852||BANDIT QUEEN||Mark Lynch||Matthew Bennett||4||54kg||73|
|13||31x6x25813||CHEVAL DU FEU||David Kelly||Glenn Lynch||10||54kg||72|