By Geoff Newling
Rod Northam chases three feature races this weekend as he prepares for a tilt at Sunday week’s $150,000 HNWRA Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) at Scone.
At Quirindi on Friday he has high hopes of winning another Akubra Quirindi Cup and a second Quirindi RSL Lightning with Husswick and Sargent Doakes while stable star, Big Money, jumps from barrier one in Saturday’s $150,000 Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1200m).
Talented filly L’elu and After All That may well be his Country Championship hopes on 5 March.
“She’s a nice filly,” Rod Northam said. “But it’s going to be a real strong race. Both mine will run well on their home track. Barriers will be crucial and she will need a bit of speed on up front.”
Meanwhile Big Money, a seven-year-old chestnut gelding who has won $787,260 in prizemoney, has drawn barrier one in Saturday’s Liverpool City Cup.
“It’s not ideal for him,” Northam said.
“The favourite (Chetwood) has drawn two so hopefully we can be on his back.” Big Money is coming off a courageous second to Le Romain at Randwick in a 1200m Group 3 two Mondays back.
He has done well since and with Robert Thompson on board will give another good sight.
“He just tries his heart out every time,” Northam said.
“That’s the beauty of him. He doesn’t like the heavy tracks though and should get a good track Saturday. I expect him to run well.”
Robert Thompson will also be aboard Husswick in tomorrow’s $40,000 Akubra Quirindi Cup (1600m) for Rod.
Both Husswick and Rod’s Lightning runner, Sargent Doakes, have drawn barrier seven and Rod hopes that is a lucky number.
“Both of them are going well,” he said. “Both of them have drawn quite well and should get nice runs.”
Six-year-old Husswick has won seven of his 31 starts for $116,485 in prizemoney and comes off a good mid-week win at Warwick Farm and a fair fourth at Canterbury.
“He’s not a real big horse so the question mark will be whether he can carry the weight (57.5kg),” Rod said.
“He won quite well at Warwick Farm but he didn’t handle the hot conditions at Canterbury and suffered a little bit of heat stress there.”
Rod has won a Quirindi Cup with Full Bench and believes this year’s field isn’t as strong as it has been, opening the door for Husswick.
The $30,000 Quirindi RSL Club Lightning (1100m) is a far different and harder race.
“There is quite a bit of depth there,” he said. “It’s a quality field but we have drawn well and hopefully will get a bit of luck.”
Rod also won a Lightning in 2007 with Phan at long odds.
“A good result,” he recalled. “We backed him too."
“There looks to be a lot of speed in the Lightning too. Hopefully we get a nice run from a good draw.”
Sargent Doakes is a four-year-old gelding son of I Am Invincible and has his 20th start with six wins and two placings in a career that has realised $153,610 in prizemoney.
Paul King will jump the bay gelding from barrier seven.