WARRNAMBOOL galloper Tarquin missed a guaranteed start in this year's Caulfield Cup, with a nose defeat in the Mornington Cup on Saturday but trainer Simon Ryan was philosophical with the result.
Self Sense won the $350,000 Mornington Cup beating Tarquin and Trap For Fools. But a protest by Ryan and his jockey Fred Kersley was dismissed by stewards.
"It was a top run by Tarquin," Ryan said. "It's bad luck we never won the protest. The stewards could see the interference at the 300-metre mark.
"Tarquin was in the middle when Ventura Storm rolled out and Self Sense moved in. We were sort of sandwiched out. It was worth a shout to throw in a protest.
"He fought strongly to the line. A win would have seen us in the Caulfield Cup. One of the best things that came out of the result was it showed Tarquin can run out a strong 2400 metres. It was his first try over the distance."
The former jumps jockey said no plans were in place for Tarquin's next start.
"I'll let the dust settle for a few days before making any plans," he said.
"We may go to the Easter Cup at Caulfield or we could give him a short break and prepare him for a race like the Geelong Cup in the spring.
"We've got a few options we'll just wait and see what happens."
Tarquin picked up $63,000 for his connections with the second placing in the Mornington Cup.