Niccanova steps up to open company

Lightly raced gelding Niccanova will have a heavy workload this summer after he resumes in the Group Three George Moore Stakes at Doomben.

Niccanova has had only six starts but has won four of them and was an unlucky third in the Group Two Queensland Guineas in another.

He beat a quality field in the Group Three Fred Best Classic at Eagle Farm on May 27 which would have got him into the Group One Stradbroke Handicap.

Trainer Steve Tregea elected to keep him to his own age group in the Guineas and Niccanova flashed home late to finish 1-1/4 lengths from the winner Salsonic.

“I didn’t want to over-match him so early in his career as I obviously have a big opinion of him,” Tregea said.

He entered Niccanova for Saturday’s Listed Recognition Stakes won by Crack Me Up but decided to wait a week.

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“I think the 1200 metres of the George Moore was more suitable for a first-up run than the 1350 of the Recognition,” Tregea said.

“He had a jump-out and the extra week also gave him time to get over it. But I nominated him to see where we are likely to be in the ballot order.”

Niccanova was one of 17 nominations for the George Moore taken on Monday and will press on into the summer carnival before getting ready for another crack at the winter races.

Trainer Michael Costa has entered Brooklyn Storm in the George Moore after the former Bjorn Baker-trained gelding’s third in the Keith Noud Quality (1200m) at Ipswich last week.

Warwick Farm trainer Baker has entered Egyptian Symbol in the George Moore and also the Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill.

The George Moore entries are headed by former Hong Kong horse Beauty Flame who is now with Melanie O’Gorman at Tamworth.