Nonconformist wins the Alister Clark Stakes. Picture: Racing Photos
The lure of a potential Caulfield Cup tilt next spring will see emerging three-year-old Nonconformist go the paddock for the autumn after a devastating win in the group Alister Clark Stakes at The Valley on Friday night.
Trainer Grahame Begg said such lofty plans were on the table for the three-year-old who shot to a three and a quarter length win in the group 2 race that often throws up a stayer of the future.
With derbies group 1 derbies in Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane to come this season, the obvious temptation would be to set the horse for one of those following his dominant win at 2040-metres, but Begg said he had an eye to the future and Nonconformist was in his maiden preparation.
“He’s going out next week for at least eight weeks out and he’ll be back before it gets too cold and he might be back for something in the spring,’’ Begg said.
Would that be a Caulfield Cup?
“His rating points will probably go up tonight and he probably has to do a bit more to qualify I guess but it’s a nice problem to have,’’ Begg said of the $5 million spring 2400-metre handicap.
“We think a lot of the horse and that he’s got a great future ahead of him.’’
Nonconformist ($3.90) took a position behind the speed but jockey Jordan Childs sent him through a narrow gap on the turn and he ran clear to beat the $1.85 favourite Adelaide Ace with Diasonic ($13) in third place ahead of the Oaks winner Miami Bound ($6), who only got warm late.
Childs too is looking ahead to next season.
“I think he’s a horse with a real bright future,’’ he said. “He’s still got some quirks about him but he keeps improving from start to start.
“He’s still not there mentally but he’s definitely got a lot of ability.’’
The runner-up Adelaide Ace sat on the speed but was no match for the winner. He is expected to return to Perth for the WA Derby.