Trainer Grahame Begg has high Spring Carnival expectations for his lightly raced three year old Nonconformist with the Group 1 $5m Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 17 high on the agenda.
Nonconformist scored his third win from six race starts with a three and a quarter lengths victory in the Group 2 $200,000 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at The Valley in March during the 2020 Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
Begg is hoping the rising four year old will improve on his Autumn Carnival form and develop into a top line stayer.
“He’s going to be the flagship horse for us for the spring,” Begg told AAP.
“We’d like to think that hopefully he measures up into the Caulfield Cup.
“Obviously there’s a huge transition from running against three-year-olds at set weights in the Alister Clark that he won, but he won in pretty devastating style that night and we think he’s certainly got the talent to be able to measure up.
“He’s been pretty lightly raced and been looked after so we’re very excited about his prospects going forward.”
Nonconformist is scheduled to kick off his Spring Carnival campaign in a 1400m Open Handicap at Caulfield on Memsie Stakes Day on August 29 before stepping him up to Group 1 company in the $750,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12.
“He’s going to run on the 29th and then he’ll probably go to the Makybe Diva Stakes and then we’ll just plot a course from there,” Begg said.
All-in betting for the Caulfield Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au has Nonconformist at $51, along way off the $9 favourite Master Of Wine.
Master Of Wine had no trouble handling the Caulfield Cup distance of 2400m with a convincing win in the Listed $140,000 City Tattersalls Club Cup at Randwick as his final outing for the 2019 Spring Carnival.
The Team Hawkes trained five year old resumed in the Autumn for a first up win in a 1400m BenchMark 100 Handicap at Rosehill and then made it two wins in a row at Rosehill with a win in the Group 3 $350,000 Sky High Stakes (2000m).
Master Of Wine was then tested at Group 1 level and finished fourth behind Addeybb in the $2m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Day Two of The Championships on April 11.
Early betting for the 2020 Caulfield Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $9 Master Of Wine, $11 Russian Camelot, $12 Verry Elleegant, $17 Colette, $19 Shared Ambition, $21 Surprise Baby, $26 Finche, King Of Leogrance, Mirage Dancer, Mr Quickie, Mustajeer, Regal Power, San Huberto, Young Rascal, Aktau, $31 or better the rest.