By Isaac Murphy
Toowoomba trainer Steve Tregea thought Niccanova’s black-type dreams were over as a wall of horses loomed up alongside the gelding at the top of the straight.
But astute riding from James Orman saw the in-form five-year-old surge back to take out The Sky Racing Tattersall’s Recognition Stakes.
After starting his preparation in Rockhampton in July, the gelding has slowly worked his way into top form.
In-form hoop James Orman gave the favourite a peach of a ride sitting behind the leader Sheiswhatsheis, before finding the smallest of gaps to sneak up the rail in the straight.
“I said to myself we’re in big trouble when I saw we were locked away at the top of the straight,” Tregea said.
“It took a great bit of horsemanship from Jimmy (James Orman) to get him in to the clear at the right time.
“We’re lucky he’s not a big horse because there was not much of a gap there.”
Tregea had a big TAB Queensland Summer Cup Carnival planned for Niccanova last year, but tipped the horse out when thing weren't going to plan.
“Sometimes the more patient you are the bigger the reward,” he said.
“He just wasn’t going well at the time, so rather than plod along with him I gave him the time to mature and he’s come back a better horse.
“It’s much more satisfying now knowing that was the right decision.”
Tregea also praised the run of stablemate Prioritise, which ran a close fourth, and was buoyant about the future prospect of both horses.
“I thought he ran a really brave race,” he said.
“I’m not sure where I’ll take them next, but today certainly opens my options up.”