Scone-based trainer Rodney Northam had his honest galloper Big Money in prime condition and ready to strike third-up in Randwick’s Southern Cross Stakes 2016 for an upset on Apollo Stakes Day in Sydney.
Short-priced favourite in betting for this year’s $150,000 Group 3 DX Solutions Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) was the returning Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Rich Enuff, but all honours in the end went to Northam’s six-year-old Choisir gelding.
Rich Enuff was one of the first into stride post-jump before Aussies Love Sport went up to lead from the Clarry Conners-trained Decision Time.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy was quickly up there with the punters’ pick however, Rich Enuff moving up to snare second while Boss Lane camped behind them in fourth.
Big Money meanwhile was settled nicely in fifth travelling sweetly throughout.
Aussies Love Sport led the field into the straight but was quickly tackled by Decision Time and Rich Enuff who were closing fast.
Joining them over the final few hundred metres and turning the Southern Cross Stakes into a three horse tussle was eventual winner Big Money giving the punters a thriller in fifth, Thompson urging his horse up over the top of them.
The photo finish Southern Cross Stakes result showed Big Money ($9) got there narrowly in the last stride over Decision Time ($15) who fought back on the inside to hold off the third-placed favourite Rich Enuff ($2.45).
Big Money ran third in his two lead-up runs in Sydney last month including his effort behind runaway winner Our Boy Malachi last time out in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m), and Northam was confident he would be improving off that form.
“I thought he’d take a couple of runs, he’d had a long spell and this race looked perfect for him today on a good track which he loves,” Northam said.
“Just in the last week his coat’s really got a glow to it and he’s really feeling good.
“Hopefully now we can go onto something a little bit better.”
A possible next-up run for Big Money, whose last run before the Southern Cross Stakes success was in a Doomben black-type in December of 2014, is the $150,000 Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) back at Randwick on Chipping Norton Stakes Day, February 27.
“I haven’t really set a target for him,” Northam said.
“The Liverpool City Cup I think, but there’s a few other options so I’ll see how he pulls up and see where we go.”
The horse is also nominated for a shot at the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on Day 1 of The Championships in early April.
To get behind Big Money in his upcoming autumn assignments and check out the full futures markets for the 2016 Doncaster Mile, head to Ladbrokes.com.au now!
2016 Southern Cross Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 5 – 13/02/2016
|1||4||BIG MONEY||Rodney Northam||Robert Thompson||–||3||57.5kg||$8|
|2||8||DECISION TIME||Clarry Conners||Jason Collett||0.1L||6||54kg||$16|
|3||5||RICH ENUFF||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||0.2L||4||56.5kg||$2.45F|
|4||2||GENERALIFE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||1.5L||2||58.5kg||$5|
|5||6||BOSS LANE||Ron Quinton||Sam Clipperton||1.9L||5||55.5kg||$4.40|
|6||7||FORGET||Kim Waugh||Tim Clark||3.8L||1||55kg||$71|
|7||9||AUSSIES LOVE SPORT||Peter Robl||Brenton Avdulla||5.2L||7||54kg||$12|
|–||1||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Christian Reith||–||0||–||–|
|–||3||VASHKA||John O’Shea||Tye Angland||–||0||–||–|