Toowoomba sprinter-miler Niccanova’s track work indicates he is poised to carry a record weight and complete a treble of feature summer carnival wins at the Sunshie Coast.
The gelding has 60kg on Saturday but trainer Steve Tregea can take some solace from recent history which suggests the Cup has suited the topweights.
Most Important (2018) and Sir Moments (2017) both carried 59.5kg while Fillydelphia (2014) and Lucky Luna (2013) both won with 58.5kg.
Tregea is hoping the hefty weights Niccanova has been carrying in the summer will improve his chances to get into showcase races during the winter carnival.
“I wanted to run him in the (Group One) Stradbroke last year but he didn’t get enough weight,” Tregea said.
“Maybe this year he will get in because surely he will get a bigger weight.”
Tregea said Niccanova had been ticking over nicely since his Bernborough win four weeks ago.
“He won a jump-out last week and while I don’t know how good the rest of them were he beat them easily enough,” Tregea said.
“He had a gallop this week and I couldn’t be happier with him.
“Niccanova likes big tracks and he ran second in the Glasshouse over 1400 metres there in the winter.”
Favourite for the race is the consistent Chapter And Verse who passed $1 million in earnings with his last-start fourth in the Magic Millions QTIS Plate at the Gold Coast on January 11.
Trained by Desleigh Forster, the gelding started the summer with a fourth in the Listed Keith Noud Quality and followed with a win in the Group Three George Moore Stakes before a third in the Listed Lough Neagh and fourth in the QTIS Plate.
The consistency has been the trademark of Chapter And Verse’s career as he has collected a cheque at 20 of his 21 starts.
“He just never runs a bad race and a horse with his racing pattern is often going to strike some sort of interference,” Forster said.
“Except for one run he has never finished worse than fifth. His only failure was in the Group One Kingsford Smith Cup but in hindsight we shouldn’t have started him at that stage of his career.
“Even then there were some excuses.”
Forster said Chapter And Verse should get his chance from barrier six on Saturday.
“After that he can have a short break and come back for a big money race at the QTIS day at the Gold Coast in March,” she said.