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Steve Tregea has no regrets about bypassing the Stradbroke Handicap with Niccanova
Image: Darren Winningham

Trainer Steve Tregea has no regrets about bypassing the Group One Stradbroke Handicap with three-year-old Niccanova.

The gelding will instead tackle the Group Two Queensland Guineas (1600m) at Doomben on Saturday.

Niccanova beat the ballot for the Stradbroke when he won the Fred Best Classic at Eagle Farm two weeks ago.

It was his fourth win from just five starts and renewed interest from Hong Kong and Australian based stables.

“There has been plenty of interest for him but I am happy to race him myself,” Tregea said.

Tregea realised that three-year-olds have a good record in the Stradbroke but in the end he opted for the Guineas when the meeting was switched from Eagle Farm to Doomben.

“Had the Stradbroke been at 1400 metres at Eagle Farm the decision might have been a bit harder. But the 1600 around Doomben is perfect for him at this stage.”

“I am reluctant to say there is always next year for the Stradbroke. There are plenty of ups and downs in racing.”

Tregea has developed a strong boutique breeding and training business through his Windemere Stud syndicate.

“Around this time of the year I start deciding where to send my mares. I already have Niccanova’s dam (Dananova) booked to go to his sire Nicconi,” Tregea said.

“When you breed and race them you get all the highs and lows. But in the end it is worthwhile.”

Rival trainer Toby Edmonds, who has Sylpheed in the Guineas, knows how much promise Niccanova has shown.

“I won a maiden at the Sunshine Coast and Niccanova won the next division in a second faster time. My horse is smart so it shows you how good Niccanova could be,” Edmonds said.

Sylpheed ran second to Niccanova in the Fred Best Classic but Edmonds admits barrier 19 is a concern.

“She just can’t draw a decent barrier,” he said.

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