Grahame Begg has no regrets about turning his back on a start in the Caulfield Cup for Coongy Cup winner Nonconformist.
Nonconformist was being aimed at the Group One feature until a few weeks ago when he had a hiccup and Begg decided to pull the plug on the race.
Although the Coongy Cup guaranteed the winner a start in the Caulfield Cup, Begg said Nonconformist was a year away from being seasoned enough for the race.
“It was good to get the horse back on track,” Begg said.
“It was the right race for him today with the weight concession he got for his rating. It was good – 55 kilos was a big benefit.”
Begg said he would look at starting the son of Rebel Raider at Flemington over the carnival and suggested the Group One Cantala Stakes over 1600 metres on October 31 would be a good option.
Nonconformist was ridden by Jordan Childs, who followed up with a daring all-the-way victory in the next race on Vegas Knight.
Nonconformist ($3.30 fav) had to run down Harlem ($6.50), who swept to the lead halfway up the straight, and he defeated him by a long neck with Kiwia ($41) three lengths away third.
The race proved to be a non-event for the two horses attempting to win to gain a Caulfield Cup start with Django Freeman finishing fifth and Al Galayel sixth.
The former’s trainer, Rob Hickmott, suggested he would lower his expectations for Django Freeman and might start him in the Bendigo Cup on October 28.
Django Freeman was later found to be lame in the near foreleg by Racing Victoria stewards.