Despite being delighted with the trial of Nonconformist at Geelong on Thursday trainer Grahame Begg isn’t rushing to take on the big guns in the All-Star Mile, although he wouldn’t knock back the opportunity if it did arise.
Instead Begg is banking on the quality of the Australian Cup being diminished due to it being a week prior to the All-Star Mile, so instead he’s taking aim on the historic Group 1 race at Flemington.
“We’ve nominated for the All Star Mile but so have all the big guns which to my way of thinking suggests the Australian Cup could fall away,” Begg said.
“Horses like Arcadia Queen, Sir Dragonet and Russian Camelot are at the top of the markets for the Australian Cup and you’d think they are doubtful with the All Star Mile on their radars.
“Then you have Verry Elleegant and I’d think she’ll stay in Sydney so the race (Australian Cup) could drop away pretty quickly.”
Nonconformist will be nominated for the 1400m Orr Stakes and the 1600m Carlyon Cup at Caulfield on Saturday but Begg indicated he would more than likely contest the longer race.
Sir Dragonet… ?
We can't wait to see him return to the track. Check out the @CoxPlate winner's trial. ? @cmaherracing pic.twitter.com/SKFfssvSKh
“He’s really well the horse and the intention is to go to the Carlyon then the Peter Young over 1800m a fortnight later before the Australian Cup,” Begg said.
“If everything went well and we did get a call up for the All Star Mile then that would be the icing on the cake.
“The horse (Nonconformist) has had two starts at the Australian Cup distance (2000m) and he’s won them both, and at this stage I reckon that’s his distance although I do think he’ll get over more ground.
“He was on the Caulfield Cup trail last spring before a setback with a blood disorder but that may have been a blessing as he has not been over taxed and has had a trouble free preparation this time around.
“Being lightly raced we’ve really looked after him and he’s very sound so the future is certainly exciting.”
On Thursday Nonconformist raced wide in the 1200m Geelong trial before being given a good rev up by regular rider Jordan Childs in the straight when beaten a neck behind the impressive Sir Dragonet.
“His trial was exactly what I expected of the horse, he’s the type you need to really make do it and he closed off very nicely,” Begg said.
TAB.com.au has Nonconformist a $26 chance for the Australian Cup while he’s a $51 chance for the All-Star Mile.
Originally published asAustralian Cup on the agenda for promising Nonconformist
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