Nonconformist stays on original program

Nonconformist has been scratched from the JRA Cup to follow Grahame Begg’s preferred path to the Caulfield Cup.

Grahame Begg says first thoughts are usually your best which is why Nonconformist is heading to the Underwood Stakes at Sandown. 

Nonconformist was also an acceptor in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night, but after weighing everything up the decision was made to head to Sunday's Group 1 race over 1 1⁄8 m at Sandown

"The only reason we accepted in the other race was because we got a curve ball thrown at us last start and we came away from that race non-the-wiser," Begg said. 

"He was ridden completely upside down in Makybe Diva Stakes and no-one learned anything from the run, the way the horse raced or the way he went. 

"It was completely out of character. 

"The original plan was to go to the Underwood. We had a good think about it, and we decided to stick with the original plan. 

"Your first thoughts are always your best." 

Runner-up in last year's Caulfield Cup behind Incentivise, Nonconformist is safely in this year's race and Begg has followed a weight-for-age path to the race. 

In sticking with the Underwood Stakes, Nonconformist will skip a weight penalty whereas he would have been liable for a rehandicap if successful on Friday night. 

Small fields in weight-for-age races can throw up funny results. 

Begg did not see Nonconformist beating home Zaaki, an opponent on Sunday, in a five-horse field in the Group 1 Might And Power Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last year. 

"I'm under no illusion, he won't be beating the top four, but it is a weight-for-age race, and you never know," Begg said. 

"He can poke along, do his thing, run his own race and be working home at the finish. 

"He's drawn barrier one, he won't have to do any work, he can let them cross him and if he can finish off and run in the money, like he did in the Might And Power last year, everyone will be happy." 


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