By Glenn Davis
The Group 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick next month remains an option for winter carnival bound Niccanova following his brilliant comeback victory at Doomben on Saturday.
Niccanova was having his first start for nine months and lived up to trainer Steve Tregea’s expectations with a dominant victory in the Hamilton Hotel Open Handicap (1350m).
The four-year-old powered home to score by three-quarters of a length over Fortensky with Bushy, a further one length away.
The win gave apprentice Michael Murphy a winning double after he was successful earlier on the Ben Currie-trained Hang in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1350m).
Tregea was hopeful before the race that Niccanova had done enough work to win and was relieved when the pressure was off after the gelding’s success.
“It's been a stressful week as you’re always worried nine months between runs,” Tregea said.
“But he’s so casual you can ride him on a loose reign like an old steeple chaser.”
Tregea said he would see how Niccanova recovered from his first-run before confirming his next start.
“He’ll be aimed for the winter carnival but he’s also in the Doncaster next month,” Tregea said.
“He’s well down the order for the Doncaster but after this win we’ll just have to wait and see whether he gets in.”
Niccanova was placed in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas at his previous appearance in June which followed his brilliant win in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic at Doomben.
The Fred Best victory automatically qualified him for the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap but Tregea lowered his sights to the Queensland Guineas.
Tregea then targeted the summer carnival in Brisbane with Niccanova but he was forced out with a minor leg issue.
“He had an issue in front of one of his cannon bones and wanted to hang,” Tregea said.
“He was uncomfortable a bit so I put him out.”
Niccanova has now won five of his seven starts and is yet to miss a place with prizemoney of nearly $285,000.
Tregea knocked back several big offers for Niccanova earlier in his career but he’s content to race him himself.
Racing Queensland webnews March 10