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Australian Racing: Noncomformist to step up in the Cup

There is a bumper day of action on Saturday with Group 1 racing from both Rosehill and Flemington.

Race 7 Flemington

Nonconformist @ 7.00

Race 8 Rosehill

Knights Order @ 8.50

Race 7 Rosehill

Pavitra @ 3.40

Begg’s gelding to triumph in Cup

Top weight Cascadian is expected to jump as favourite for the 2000m Group 1 Australia Cup at Flemington. A soft 5 track is forecast for the feature with James Cummings’ charge having made two starts so far this spell. 

The veteran campaigner delivered a respectable effort when fifth over an inadequate 1300m in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes on the first Saturday of this month. 

Improvement was expected and duly followed when the gelding came home half-a-length second in the valuable All-Star Mile over 1600m at Moonee Valley a week ago. The son of New Approach was sent off a $21.00 outsider for that contest and that effort is likely to have put him spot on for this. 

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However, the Grahame Begg-trained Noncomformist is preferred in this contest. The pick generally improves for big races and, with that in mind, it was a surprise to see him salute first up in the Group 2 TAB Blarney Stakes over 1600m at this venue earlier this month. 

That marked the geldings first start since a below par down the field effort off a low weight in the 2400m Group 1 Caulfield Cup in October. The selection should appreciate the step up to 2000m having won in Group 3 company over this trip twice and placed second in the Group 1 Might And Power at the distance.

Order for Tancred glory

Melbourne Cup winner Gold Trip is likely to prove popular with punters ahead of the Group 1 2400m Tancred Stakes at Rosehill. The six-year-old has delivered a couple of decent efforts over shorter distances since returning from a spell following that Cup success. 

Runner-up in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes over an inadequate 1800m at Sandown Lakeside last month, he was never involved when fifth after being upped to 2000m in the Ranvet Stakes here subsequently. 

The son of Outstrip wasn’t unfancied in the market on either occasion and he will need to put that effort in the Ranvet behind him if he is to score here. Last year's Sydney Cup winner Knights Order is taken to deliver a victory here prior to attempting back-to-back wins in next month's feature. 

The selection made a couple of starts in 1000m barrier trials prior to an eighth of 12 finish in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes when racing first up here. Improvement duly followed when stepping up to 2000m to finish just over two lengths behind the winner when sixth in the Group 3 Furphy Sky High Stakes here subsequently.

The extra 200m he encounters here is in the veteran performer's favour, while the pick should be able to hold a prominent position along with Sir Lucan and King Frankel.

Pavitra for Vinery Stud success

The penultimate race on the Rosehill card is the Group 1 Vinery Stud stakes over 2000m. The absence of Papillon Club leaves a field of 13 to go to post.

The Richard & Will Freedman-trained Pavitra is selected to deliver a victory in this contest having won the Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic at Kembla Grange earlier this month. The American Pharoah filly defied weakness in the market to deliver an impressive four-length victory having raced close to the pace in the 1600m contest. 

Chad Schofield was on board that day and is again in the saddle, with his mount looking likely to appreciate the step up in trip she encounters here. The pick has won on soft going in the past and looks likely to prove hard to hold out, with New Zealand-raider Prowess, the winner of six of her eight starts, looking the main threat.

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