Nonconformist has sights set on Caulfield Cup ticket

A golden ticket into the Caulfield Cup is up for grabs for the winner of the Mornington Cup.

The Grahame Begg-trained Nonconformist fell short in the Mornington Cupo two years ago before winning his way into the Caulfield Cup later in that spring.

Nonconformist ran second to Incentivise in that year’s Caulfield Cup which was enough to gain him a start in last year’s Cup, finishing tenth behind Durston.

Now Begg wants to short-circuit having to go through the ‘qualifying rounds’ towards this year’s Caulfield Cup which he hopes to do so by winning the Mornington Cup (2400m) on Saturday.

But Begg concedes it will not be an easy task as the race has attracted a good quality field.

“It’s worked out well for the Club,” Begg said.

“I know they were a bit concerned about it being shoved back nearly a month from when they normally have it due to the shuffle up of the Autumn Carnival, but I think they’ve been well rewarded.

“There looks genuine speed in the race which will suits us.”

Nonconformist has drawn barrier one on Saturday and Begg would like to see the stayer ridden not too far from the action.

He said Mornington can be tricky track to navigate.

“You need a bit of luck there,” Begg said.

“If you draw wide you have to get back and have to round them up, but he’s drawn inside and then you have to get out at the right time.

“I’m happy we’ve drawn inside rather than being out.”

After winning the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) first-up, Nonconformist went on to finish eighth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on March 25.

Begg said while disappointed Nonconformist did not feature in the major money in the Australian Cup, he said there was mitigating circumstances.

“He drew a wide gate, he was three-wide, even four-wide to the 1000 metres, then he got in three-wide, and you can’t work like that, especially second-up,” Begg said.

“On paper he looked disappointing. I was disappointed he didn’t run in the money, but you have to then realise it was a hard run.

“He’s had plenty of time to get over it and he doesn’t go too badly off a bit of a break.

“When he won the Alister Clark Stakes he came off a break of a few weeks, so I’m happy where he’s at.”

About RS NewsWire

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