Anniversary Highway: After All That in position to break luckless run

Scone trainer Rod Northam, right, talks to jockey Hugh Bowman after a My Tagoson victory. Picture: AAP
Scone trainer Rod Northam, right, talks to jockey Hugh Bowman after a My Tagoson victory. Picture: AAP

SCONE trainer Rod Northam hopes a change of luck at the draw will help After All That break a frustrating run in the $200,000 Anniversary Highway at Randwick on Saturday.

After All That, to be ridden by Cessnock champion Robert Thompson, will jump from gate three in the 1400-metre Highway race which has boosted prizemoney as part of The Everest program.

The six-year-old Time Thief gelding was eighth in the group 2 The Shorts from gate two last start but was fifth, fourth and second twice in his four previous starts in country cup and championships company from double-figure barriers.

After All That finished second to Anniversary Handicap favourite Suncraze in a trial at Newcastle in preparation for Saturday’s race and Northam was confident of a bold showing.

“I think his run first-up was quite good and he had a nice trial at Newcastle two weeks ago that I was really happy with,” Northam said. “He’s drawn well to get a nice run so he should be there when the whips are cracking.

“It’s the first time we’ve drawn a barrier in a long time and we have been going back on him from wide barriers, but tomorrow we should be able to sit a bit handier, get a soft run and hopefully get a bit of luck in the straight.”

Northam also has My Tagoson in the $100,000 Highway Consolation, which was created midweek to cater for huge nominations in the Anniversary Highway.

At Cessnock on Friday, Hammoon Boy took out the Jungle Juice Cup for jockey Chris O’Brien and Tamworth trainer Sue Grills.

Newcastle jockey Blake Spriggs had a winning double at the meeting with Alvin Purple and Tale Of Eight.

As for My Tagoson, Northam said: “He’s racing well and has won last two down there. I freshened him up for this race. The 1400 is short of his best distance but he’s won over it at Randwick and Hughie Bowman is riding him. He’s drawn wide but that shouldn’t worry him. He’ll get back and hopefully there’s enough speed on for him to come home.”