Trainer upbeat about Niccanova returning in promising shape

HAVING ironed out the problem that kept Niccanova out of the summer carnival, trainer Steve Tregea is painting a far more positive picture of the four-year-old ahead of his return at Doomben on Saturday.

Niccanova won the Group 3 Fred Best Classic in May last year, but hasn’t raced since placing in the Queensland Guineas on June 10.

Tregea pulled the plug on the summer after Niccanova disappointed in a track gallop. He later discovered the horse had bumped himself and had a lump on his cannon bone.

“I was never overly happy with him last time and at least now we know the reason. We gave him a month off after that and there’s been nothing to worry about since,” Tregea said.

“The horse looks as well or better now than he ever has.”

Tregea said he was satisfied with Niccanova’s recent Toowoomba trial, where the four-year-old finished fifth in a six-horse field.

“I always work him in bar plates and he just followed them around,” he said. “He’s not a jump and run horse. He needs to work into his gears. I was happy with it.

“He’s also had a couple of decent gallops which have been good.”

Tregea’s concern on Saturday is the nine months between runs, but every other indicator suggests Niccanova is in good shape for his return.


Niccanova winning at Eagle Farm. Picture: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography

“You’re just never quite sure what to expect when they haven’t raced for that long,” he said.

“But this is the race I want to run in. 1200m would be too short for him, so I think this is a really good starting point.


Trainer Steve Tregea pulled the plug on the summer after Niccanova disappointed in a track gallop before discovering his horse had a lump on his cannon bone.

“He’s about 20kg heavier than what he was when he won, so there’s obviously going to be improvement, but for his first up run, I’ve got him where I want him.

“The only thing that would cause a rethink is if the track comes up a heavy 10, but I’m pretty comfortably on a Soft 7.”

Niccanova is in a battle for favouritism with Chris Waller’s Fortensky for the Hamilton Hotel Handicap (Race 5) on Saturday.


Story courtesy Nathan Exelby Brisbane Courier Mail

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