By Glenn Davis
Toowoomba trainer Steve Tregea is hopeful rejuvenated sprinter Niccanova can end a successful summer campaign on a high in the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup on Saturday.
Niccanova is chasing his third Stakes win of his current campaign in the 1400-metre sprint which is the last feature race of the summer carnival.
The six-year-old claimed two of the summer carnival’s features in the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1600m) at Doomben on December 7 and Listed Bernborough Handicap (1600m) at Eagle Farm on December 28.
In between those runs he dropped back sharply in distance when fourth in the Listed Falvelon Quality (1200m) at Eagle Farm on December 21.
His all the way win in the Bernborough Handicap surprised Tregea as Niccanova was forced to lead which he’s never done in his 23-start career.
“It was an amazing win in the Bernborough,” Tregea said.
“He’s never led in his life but Jimmy Orman had no other option as it was either lead or get caught three deep.”
Tregea has always believed Niccanova has above average ability and considered sending him south for the Group 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick last year.
“He was racing well last year but he never looked right,” Tregea said.
“This campaign he’s racing well and he’s racing like he looks.
“His appearance is a lot better for some reason this campaign and he’s eating and doing well.
“He easily won a jump out in Toowoomba last Thursday and his work on Tuesday morning was very good.
“I’m expecting him to race well again. He’s a very reliable horse and he can handle a wet track.”
Tregea plans to spell Niccanova after the Sunshine Coast Cup and will aim him for the Brisbane winter carnival.
“We tried to get him into the Stradbroke last year but he never had enough weight,” Tregea said.
“It might be a different story this time now he’s won a few Listed races.
“I’ll aim him for the Stradbroke again and I’d like to try him over 2000 metres so maybe the Doomben Cup is an option.
“I’ll just wait and see how he’s going at the time.”
Tregea, who also saddles up Prioritise in the Sunshine Coast Cup, tried to win the race last year with Bergerac who finished ninth to the Darryl Hansen-trained Balboa Rocks.
Racing Queensland webnews January 22