Begg sets sight on Seymour Cup with Romancer

Update - The Phillip Stokes trained All Too Huiying with apprentice Michael Poy up won the Seymour Cup with Gold Fields, Jamie Kah, second and Romancer (NZ), Jordan Childs, third.

Earlier report - Will they or won’t they run the Seymour Cup this year? That question could become a bet type of its own as twice in the last four years this Victorian country cups feature has been abandoned. 

The 2016 and 2018 editions were both set aside as the Seymour racing surface failed to step up acceptably after numerous renovations. The 2020 edition brings a new twist with the $200,000 Listed Seymour Cup remaining on the calendar but this time to be run at Kilmore today, and maintains the 1600 metre trip.

Vying for favouritism is the Grahame Begg-trained Romancer -  $3.80 in the early morning market with TAB – in a race that the seven-year-old gelding has been primed for.

“We’ve set him for this. He had a good break between his runs”, Begg says. 

“He ran an encouraging race last start at Flemington, now up to the mile”, with reference to the last start fourth placing at Listed level at Flemington on 3 October over 1400 metres.

“He’s drawn barrier one and that should be perfect for him.

“He handles the wet but I prefer him on slightly better ground”, Begg indicates as the prevailing Soft 5 track rating should be to Romancer’s liking on a track that has improved throughout the weekend. 

“He’s better when he can get his toe into it. Small field so he’s got to take his place.”

With the scratching of Morrissy, who finished second in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes at Caulfield yesterday, the field of seven also sees Gold Fields line up and who beat Romancer by less than two lengths in the Listed Sale Cup (1600m) in 2019. 

Based in Mt Eliza on the Mornington Peninsula for four years now, Begg seems content with his time in Victoria so far. Tasting Group 1 success since moving to Victoria four years ago and most notably with Written By in the Blue Diamond, peppering away at spring features remains high on his agenda.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to get some nice horses along the way. Every year we seem to have a ‘carnival horse’ in the stable. You need them, they’re very important. People take notice of that. 

“People take less notice in the middle of the year but if you’ve got a nice carnival horse it goes a long way.”