Nonconformist has snuffed out the flickering Caulfield Cup dreams of Django Freeman and Al Galayel by vindicating trainer Grahame Begg’s faith with victory in the Coongy Cup (2000m).
Django Freeman (fifth) and Al Galayel (sixth) would have vaulted into the 18-runner Caulfield Cup field by winning the Coongy but, after leading and sitting second respectively, they both faded from contention.
Nonconformist, ridden patiently by Jordan Childs, withstood Harlem’s challenge as the pair emerged to fight out the race.
Dual Ballarat Cup winner Kiwia was third.
Begg was elated after Nonconformist returned to form with authority.
“It was a good watch,” Begg said.
“He (Childs) gave him a perfect ride, presented at the right time.
“Just really good to get the horse back on track because he had a bit of a hiccup along the way and a lot of people sort of bagged him after his last start and it’s just good to get him back on a good track.
“It was the right race for him today with the weight concession he got with his rating.
“I like him (Nonconformist) a lot.”
Ranting upstaged Hanseatic and Anders in the Blue Sapphire Stakes. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Begg could tackle the Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m).
“I’ve got that in the back of my mind, a bit of a freshen up, back to the mile,” he said.
“He certainly needed to win today to get his ratings points up. We’ll see what happens.
“Coming back to a mile could be a good recipe.”
RANTING upstaged more accomplished rivals Anders and Hanseatic in a thrilling running of the $400,000 Blue Sapphire Stakes to earn a crack at the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington.
The outsider in a three-horse field racing for a total purse of $400,000, Ranting shed his tag as Australia’s best maiden as Ben Melham delivered the colt late to cause an upset.
Racing Victoria ruled the fourth place prizemoney of $18,000 would be donated to the Salisbury family, who cared for Melbourne Cup winner Subzero until his death last month.
Hanseatic is believed to have bled from both nostrils and will be sidelined for three months.
Originally published asNonconformist delivers Cup knockout
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