Scone double follows city win for red-hot Rod Northam stable

The Rod Northam stable had plenty of reasons to smile at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, with Bootscooter (pictured) winning nicely for connections. Image – Bradley Photos.

If a metropolitan victory with ever-consistent mare Bootscooter at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday wasn’t enough, Rod Northam’s in-form stable followed it up with a winning double at Scone on Sunday. 

“It’s been a good couple of days,” Northam told NSW Country and Picnic Racing

“It’s really rewarding for the stable, but we all go through patches, and if you had rung me six weeks ago, I would’ve told you we weren’t going quite as well, but we’ve got some nice ones coming through, and we’ve been patient with a few.

“The three-year-old and four-year-old were having their first starts at Scone, and they have had a few little issues, but giving them time has paid dividends. 

“It’s a bit like Bootscooter; she is getting to her best as a five-year-old.”

Bootscooter was very impressive when winning the 1500m Benchmark 88 Handicap at Rosehill. 

Ridden by Jett Stanley, the Sidestep mare was last turning for home, but the apprentice weaved a passage to the front.

From there, the $10 chance held on by a nose from the Matthew Smith-trained Pioneer Lass (Jason Collett, $8) while a length away in third was the Bjorn Baker-trained Ita (Adam Hyeronimus, $10). 

“It was good for her to get that win; she really deserved it,” Northam said. 

“She’s been trying hard every time she goes down there, and it was nice to see her get it done.”

The Scone trainer admitted it was a tough watch, but he praised Stanley on a ‘brilliant ride’.  

“I was watching it from home on the lounge, and I was not happy turning for home,” Northam laughed. 

“He showed some patience and knew what he had underneath him.

“Plus, she wasn’t going to let that horse on the outside of her win; she’s tough and will always be hard to beat from there.”

Northam was most pleased for the ownership group, who have now won two city races with the five-year-old, who was a Highway Handicap winner at Royal Randwick back in 2022.

“There are some there with bits and pieces in other horses, but they’re just a good bunch of owners,” Northam said. 

“There are a few locals and some out-of-towners, and they’ve won again in Sydney, and they are having great fun.”

While the team enjoyed the win on Saturday, with 30-35 gallopers in work, Northam is a busy man, and he had five more racing on their home deck on Sunday. 

In fact, the stable went a long neck from a winning treble at Scone, with Swiftwater (Chelsea Hiller, $6) too good in the 900m Maiden Handicap, while Palazzo Prince (Reece Jones, $1.40) proved to be a class above in the 1100m Country Boosted Maiden Plate. 

Just missing out was Love Rules (Reece Jones, $4.40), which stormed home into second in the 2200m Benchmark 58 Handicap. 

“It was another nice result, and it was two horses having their first starts,” Northam said. 

“It’s always hard to win your first start, so you’d think there will be a bit of upside with both of them.”

The stable, which has won 11 of their past 50, continues a busy run this week, racing at Tamworth on Thursday and Royal Randwick, Newcastle, and Deepwater on Saturday. 

At Royal Randwick, Syrian Star will be second up in the 1200m Class Three Handicap.

“I was very pleased with her first-up run,” Northam said. 

“She was back last on a leader-dominated day, and they ran home some amazing sectionals, and hers was the fastest of the race. 

“We’d love a bit of rain around as she loves the sting out of it, so that would work in her favour, but we are keen that she can run well.”