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Niccanova heads strong Tregea team at the Sunshine Coast

By Glenn Davis

Stablemates Bergerac and Prioritise will cross paths for only the second time in their careers when they meet in the Open Handicap at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.

However, it will only be a brief encounter as trainer Steve Tregea has ordered a spell for Bergerac who faces a possible permanent Sydney move while Prioritise may back-up in the Ballina Cup (1600m) on Thursday week.

Tregea also accepted with rising star Niccanova in the Open Handicap (1200m), Rhyming in the Benchmark 70 Handicap (1200m) and Backslapper in the Benchmark 80 Handicap (1400m).

Niccanova, one-time Doncaster Handicap hopeful, hasn’t raced since finishing third to Amanaat at Doomben on July 21.

“Niccanova hasn’t raced for a few weeks and has drawn a bad gate but he’s a quality horse and will run at this stage,” Tregea said.

“I took him to Rocky for the Newmarket but unfortunately he struck a very heavy track and I then tried to freshen him up but he could only run third to Amanaat at Doomben last month.

“Had he not gone to Rocky he probably would have beaten Amanaat.”

Niccanova’s career has been plagued with injury which has restricted him to only nine starts for five wins and three placings.

“He’s going well and will probably get ready for the summer carnival but I don’t want to put the cart before the horse at this stage,” Tregea said.

Tregea sent both Bergerac and Prioritise to Sydney earlier this month with both sprinters performing well against stronger Sydney opposition.

Bergerac won a Benchmark race at Randwick on August 1 then finished fifth in another Benchmark race at Rosehill before running second to the highly rated Divine Unicorn at the Sunshine Coast on August 25.

Prioritise was unplaced in his two Sydney runs before returning home to beat El Campeador at the Sunshine Coast last Saturday.

“Bergerac will spell after Saturday and may come back for the summer series here if he doesn’t move to Sydney,” Tregea said.

“I took him to Sydney for a bigger track with Eagle Farm out of action and if it’s not back soon he may end up moving to Sydney permanently as I can’t keep going back and forth to Sydney.

“When he won in Sydney I didn’t think he was suited by the speed and he still won.

“I haven’t a game plan for Saturday’s race yet but I’ll have one in time.”

Tregea was reluctant to separate the pair but expected both to be competitive again.

“They’re both in the same class now and both have about the same ability,” Tregea said.

“They are both capable on their day and there was only about half a length difference between them when they met the only time.”

Bergerac and Prioritise have clashed only the once in their careers in a Class Six (1350m) at Doomben on July 21.

On that occasion, Bergerac ran second to the Tony Gollan-trained Natch with Prioritise running fifth, only half a length behind his stablemate.

Racing Queensland webnews   August 29