Nonconformist has taken out the Group 2 Blamey Stakes, recording his first win since the Naturalism Stakes in 2021, winning over 1600m, which is considered to be well short of his best distance, considering he ran second in a Caulfield Cup in 2021.
With a solid tempo set by Gentleman Roy, it set the race up to be won by a runner with a good turn of foot and that was exactly what Nonconformist showed as he ran away with an easy 2.25 length victory.
There weren’t many that believed that this six-year-old gelding could win first-up over 1600m, as he jumped at $19 with online bookmakers, with very little support shown during the day.
With Grahame Begg being in Sydney to see Passive Aggressive take out the Challenge Stakes earlier in the day, Chris Hyland spoke post-race on the stables behalf.
“His trials were okay, and we sort of thought that now he was a bit older he would take a bit more time come to,” Hyland said.
“That race had really good tempo and then just before the turn you could see he was just starting to smoke up and you sort of get a feel that he was going to get into the race.
“That’s probably the first time that he’s got a first-up race with plenty of tempo.
“Just exciting, it’s really exciting for the horse and exciting for the stable.”
It was Harry Coffey’s first ride on Nonconformist, and he picked up a Group 2 Blamey Stakes, with all his family at the track and he spoke post-race about the big win.
“We just wanted him to be relaxed, finishing off and running through the line,” Coffey explained that the expectations weren’t high with their stayer first-up.
“I think he exceeded everyone’s expectations, including Grahame (Begg).
“Today’s performance looks as though he’s back and when he performs like that he can reach any height that he likes.
“I’m pretty rapt, I haven’t won a Group 2 yet, so I’m pretty happy to get a win in a race like that.
“It was awesome to get on a horse like him and awesome to win very well.”