The Steve Tregea trained Niccanova will have to cope with the huge impost of 60kg and overcome fifteen very competitive rivals if he is to take out the featured Keith Noud Stakes at Doomben on Saturday.
The seven-year-old son of Nicconi has earned that top weight. He was a four-time winner in his first five career starts and that run of success including a Group 3 victory in the Fred Best all the way back in May 2017. He ended that season finishing third in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas and he subsequently has wins in the Recognition Stakes, the Brisbane Handicap and the Bernborough … all Listed races … behind his name.
Add in the fact the he finished runner-up in all of the Group 2 Victory Stakes, the Group 3 Eagle Farm Mile, the Listed Glasshouse Handicap and the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup … and, certainly not least, the no small matter of a third place finish in the Group 1 Stradbroke, less than a length behind the winner Tyzone, and it become obvious that his credentials stand up very well for the Noud Stakes.
And don’t be put off by his three most results down in Sydney where he failed to finish in the placings.
Those runs were away from home, with another trainer, in the Group 2 Theo Marks, Shannon Stakes and the Group 1 Epsom Stakes against the likes of Probabeel, Funstar and Wild Planet and the opposition he is due to face now , although useful, is nowhere near that level of competition.
Jimmy Orman, who has had a great association with Niccanova over the years, gave his insight into where Niccanova rates going into Saturday’s race.
“He’s going to be hard to beat over the 1200m because Steve (Tregea) has freshened him up,” said Orman. “He is going to go well. He’ll probably going to get back a little bit, but he’ll get to the line strongly.
“He’s come from a Sydney stint where he got up to a mile in the Group1 Epsom. Steve knows how to bring them back … how to freshen them up, so he’ll be right for the 1200m. He will be fit and he will be fresh.
“He is a good horse. I’m looking forward to it.”