Cup dreams can come true

Nonconformist (3) narrowly goes down to Probabeel in Saturday’s Group-1 Might and Power Stakes. 253625 Pictures: SCOTT BARBOUR/RACING PHOTOS

By David Nagel

Jumping around the lounge room and screaming at the TV is not something that the Henwood’s would consider a family trait…but over the last three weeks it’s something they’ve become very much accustomed to.

A family of mad Melbourne supporters, the Henwood family went into party mode after the Demons broke a 57-year drought with their demolition of the Western Bulldogs in the AFL grand final on Saturday, 25 September.

Just a week earlier, on 18 September, the part owners of now third-favourite for this Saturday’s Group-1 $5million Caulfield Cup (2400m) – Nonconformist – were screaming at the TV once again after their talented five-year-old gelding held on for a narrow victory in the $200,000 MRC Foundation Cup at Caulfield.

That victory over now second-favourite for the cup, Delphi, secured the son of Rebel Raider/Good Thinking direct entry into the Caulfield Cup and confirmed him as a live chance in one of the great races on the Australian turf calendar.

The family of part-owners, dad Wayne, son Nick, and sisters Mel and Anthea, were at it again on the weekend, screaming at the box as Nonconformist fought out a photo finish with Probabeel in the Group-1 $1million Might and Power Stakes, again at Caulfield.

Nonconformist went down by a whisker but enhanced his reputation as one of the horses to beat in the mile-and-a-half classic this Saturday.

But due to Covid the family has been forced to sit idle at home while their football team, and now racehorse, have stolen the spotlight in the elite levels of their sports.

“It’s been a bit surreal what’s happening, but it’s been great,” Mel said.

“Normally we would be going to these events, but it’s given the family something to look forward to during the tough times that everyone has been going through lately.”

Nonconformist will face a field of high-quality stayers in the cup, but the biggest hurdle to overcome may come from a horse with a strong Pakenham connection as well.

Overwhelming race-favourite Incentivise is prepared at Pakenham by champion trainer Peter Moody who is searching for his first win in the time-honoured 2400-metre classic.

The Caulfield Cup will be televised live and free on channel seven this Saturday.

Caulfield Cup Contenders (Final field to be confirmed)

1. Incentivise $2.00

2. Delphi $6.50

3. Nonconformist $8.50

4. Young Werther $8.50

5. Floating Artist $13.00

6. Montefilia $15.00

7. The Chosen One $17.00

8. Colette $21.00

9. Explosive Jack $21.00

10. Homesman $31.00

11. Chapada $34.00

12. Duais $34.00

13. She’s Ideel $34.00

14. Entente $41.00

15. Persan $41.00

16. Port Guillaume $41.00

17. Harpo Marx $61.00

18. Master Of Wine $61.00

19. Ocean Billy $61.00

20. Selino $61.00

21. Great House $101.00

22. King Of Leogrance $101.00

23. Quick Thinker $101.00

24. Aktau $151.00

25. Charms Star $151.00

26. Mirage Dancer $151.00

27. Barade $201.00

28. Constantinople $201.00

29. Future Score $201.00

30. Rostropovich $201.00