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Image: Pat Scala
Trainer Grahame Begg has described Cardinal Gem as his own worst enemy with his racing pattern

Trainer Grahame Begg has all but given up hope of getting Cardinal Gem to Brisbane for the later stages of the Winter Carnival.

Instead, Begg is likely to remain in Melbourne with the three-year-old who lines up in a heat of the Silver Bowl Series Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.

The Group 3 Winx Guineas (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast on July 2 has been under consideration for Cardinal Gem, but on the same day at Flemington is the final of the Silver Bowl Series.

Transport issues, not only getting Cardinal Gem to Brisbane, but also back, are a concern for Begg.

“The final of the Silver Bowl is on the same day as the Sunshine Coast (Winx) Guineas, so we have almost given up on the idea of going to Queensland,” Begg said.

“There may be planes flying there soon, but then the problem is getting him home again.

“It’s a very long trip by road and that’s when some of them get travel sickness.”

Cardinal Gem has been a model of consistency throughout his nine-start career, but has only registered the one win, a cause of frustration for Begg.

In two runs this campaign, Cardinal Gem has finished third over 1200m down the Flemington straight before a last start second to Jimmy The Bear over Saturday’s course and distance on May 14.

Begg said there were excuses for the gelding’s last start defeat when he ran home strongly from second last on the home turn.

“He got shuffled out of it when the pace came out of the race, and they ended up walking,” Begg said.

“He was going to be in a good spot, but the next thing he got shuffled back to near last.

“He seems in good shape. He’s trained on well, but we just need the stars to align for him.

“He’s his own worst enemy with his style of racing.”

 
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