Rodney Northam’s Scone-based galloper Big Money travelled to Brisbane on the weekend and beat home a top field of fellow sprinters to win the 2014 George Moore Stakes at Doomben Racecourse.
The Choisir gelding’s last trip to Queensland produced results when during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival he won the Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m) before a return to NSW for another win, this time in the Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) on July 9.
Back in the sunshine state he got the bikkies again when the country’s most prolific winning jockey Robert Thompson guided him to a one and a quarter length victory in the $200,000 Group 3 Chanel 7 George Moore Stakes (1200m).
Big Money went out as the $4.20 favourite for the George Moore despite getting stuck on the wrong part of the Flemington track last start on November 1 when second last (9th) behind Deep Field in the Group 2 TAB.com.au Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day.
He saluted for the punters on Saturday however beating home the Tony Gollan-trained local Someday ($7), coming off a close fourth in the Keith Noud Quality from November 22, with veteran seven-year-old Cape Kidnappers ($4.80) a close third to round out the George Moore Stakes trifecta.
It was a nice result for his ill owner Phil Gunter according to Northam who was pleased to see the galloper return to form and the winners’ stall.
“It would have been nice to win on Derby Day at Flemington for Phil but this will perk him up a lot,” he said according to AAP.
A tight battle to the line saw Cape Kidnappers challenge for the win on the straight before Big Money fought him off and stormed home clear by a notable margin much to Thompson’s delight.
“He’s no superstar but he’s a real little trier and when it came to the crunch in the straight he fought on like a bulldog,” Thompson said.
Big Money has now won eight of his 14 career starts, the consistent five-year-old earning an extended summer campaign after his George Moore win.
Connections now plan to continue onto the lucrative $200,000 Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) back at Doomben on December 20 because of the prize money and to see how he goes over the extra distance.
“It’s worth good money and I also want to run him with the view of seeing how he handles the 1350 metres looking further ahead to the winter carnival,” Northam said.
“The Doomben 10,000 and the Stradbroke would be nice races for him next winter if he shows us he can handle a bit further than 1200 metres.”
The $750,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) runs on May 23 while Queensland’s richest race, the $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) takes place at June 6 either at Eagle Farm Racecourse or Doomben if the renovations at EF aren’t completed.
The Lough Neagh Stakes meanwhile also remains on the table for George Moore runner-up Someday, the Brisbane Handicap winning son of Falvelon a strong chance to turn the tables on Big Money according to jockey Tim Bell.
“Unfortunately we met a very smart horse today but stepping up to 1350 metres next time will be ideal for my horse,” Bell said on Saturday.
“He was gallant in defeat and I’m looking forward to turning the tables next time.”
Cape Kidnappers also lost few admires after just getting run down, his jockey Damien Browne tipping improvement next time out for the Kelly Schweida-trained Commands gelding.
“He travelled well and felt really good through the race so I’m expecting he’ll take a heap of improvement from the run,” he said.
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2014 George Main Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Doomben Race 7 – 06/12/2014
|1||5||BIG MONEY||Rodney Northam||Robert Thompson||–||4||57.5kg||$4.20F|
|2||8||SOMEDAY||Tony Gollan||Timothy Bell||1.3L||3||56.5kg||$7|
|3||4||CAPE KIDNAPPERS||Kelly Schweida||Damian Browne||1.7L||10||58kg||$4.80|
|4||12||INTO THE RED||Kelso Wood||Jim Byrne||1.8L||5||54kg||$13|
|5||6||RIVA DE LAGO||Robert Heathcote||Jeff Lloyd||2.1L||8||57.5kg||$41|
|6||11||ARCHITECT||David Lawlor||Luke Tarrant (a)||2.3L||6||54kg||$8|
|7||9||TIME TO PLUNDER||Liam Birchley||Larry Cassidy||3.1L||2||55kg||$11|
|8||1||ADEBISI||Desleigh Forster||Anthony Allen||3.3L||7||59kg||$14|
|9||7||ROCKET TO GLORY||Tony Gollan||Tegan Harrison||3.8L||1||57.5kg||$13|
|10||2||EXCELLANTES||Robert Heathcote||Ryan Wiggins||4.3L||12||58.5kg||$26|
|11||10||FINISHING CARD||Shane Edmonds||Terry Treichel||5.6L||11||54kg||$21|
|12||3||ROCKY KING||Tom Bourke||Michael Cahill||7.6L||9||58.5kg||$14|