Queensland Guineas Next for 2017 Fred Best Classic Winner Niccanova

One of the progressive youngsters from the small team of Steve Tregea-trained horses out of Toowoomba stole the show in the last on Kingsford-Smith Cup Day with Niccanova onto the 2017 Queensland Guineas after winning the Fred Best Classic.

James Orman

Jockey James Orman (pictured at Doomben) rode 2017 Queensland Guineas hopeful Niccanova to victory in the Fred Best Classic at Eagle Farm. Photo: Daniel Costello.

A well-bred son of Nicconi, the up-and-coming gelding only made the line-up in the $150,000 Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1400m) at Eagle Farm as the third emergency after a host of early scratchings from the race.

Tregea had debated scratching the horse all week, but eventually decided to roll the dice and was thrilled to see the youngster take his impressive record up to four wins from five career starts.

“There was just a query with the track…I kept telling myself that the [wide] barrier shouldn’t matter on a Heavy track,” Tregea said post-win.

“In the end, I thought it was worth rolling the dice.”

A winner over the Doomben mile back in late February, Niccanova was last seen taking out a 1200m sprint at the Gold Coast by over two lengths as the odds-on favourite a fortnight ago.

The Fred Best Classic was a notable class rise for the horse that has already attracted some big offers from Hong Kong connections.

“We decided not to sell him and as far as I’m concerned, he stays,” Tregea added.

Niccanova handled the Group 3 company of better tried three-year-olds as well as the Heavy-rated Eagle Farm track without issue, jockey James Orman coming aboard for the first time since riding Niccanova for his debut win at the Sunshine Coast in January.

“He’s a nice horse,” Orman said.

“I won his maiden on him and they thought he was going to be alright then and they weren’t wrong.

“He’s got a heart, he tries and that’s what you want.

“He just keeps coming.”

The field was led around by Critical Thinking with the likes of Calanda, Sylpheed and Tessera also up on the pace throughout.

Coming around the bed, Tessera got up into second on the outside and the Toby Edmonds-trained Real Saga filly from the Gold Coast Sylpheed moved to third.

On the back of a second to Good Standing in the Listed Queensland Day Stakes (1350m) at Doomben, Sylpheed hit the front on the straight as the challenges came.

Running on from the back hard down the outside was Niccanova who turned it into a two horse battle to the line, moving into the lead just 50m out and holding off the brave filly to win.

In third rounding out the trifecta was David Pfieffer’s So you Think colt I Thought So, improving on his eye-catching fifth to Savanna Amour earlier in the month in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m).

Tregea confirmed plans to return to Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Handicap Day, June 10, with Niccanova to step back up in distance for a shot at the $350,000 Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m).

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2017 Fred Best Classic Results & Finishing Order

Eagle Farm Race 8 – 27/05/2017

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Wgt. SP
1 21e NICCANOVA Steve Tregea James Orman 16 57kg $12
2 16 SYLPHEED Toby Edmonds Jeff Lloyd 0.2L 15 55kg $9.50
3 13 I THOUGHT SO David Pfieffer Corey Brown 1L 3 57kg $19
4 14 RIVER RACER Les Ross Robbie Fradd 1.5L 10 55kg $13
5 9 OINK Kelly Schweida Paul Hammersley 3.3L 14 57kg $26
6 2 MORTON’S FORK Darren Beadman Brenton Avdulla 4.6L 12 57kg $16
7 20e VOLPINO Les Kelly Blake Shinn 5.1L 5 57kg $91
8 12 BILLY THE KID John Meagher Luke Dittman 5.1L 1 57kg $13
9 7 CALANDA Peter & Paul Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 5.6L 2 57kg $12
10 18 ASTARA (NZ) Peter & Paul Snowden Dwayne Dunn 6.9L 7 55kg $31
11 5 DREAMS APLENTY John Zielke Ms Tiffani Brooker (a) 7.3L 6 57kg $6
12 10 CRACK ME UP (NZ) Liam Birchley Jim Byrne 11.2L 8 57kg $26
13 19e BELLA GIOIA (NZ) Shaune Ritchie Leith Innes 12.5L 9 55kg $41
14 23e CRITICAL THINKING Brent Stanley Noel Callow 17L 11 57kg $81
15 8 TESSERA Darren Beadman James Doyle 20.3L 4 57kg $5.50F
16 4 FRANCE Peter & Paul Snowden Hugh Bowman 20.7L 17 57kg $9.50
17 22e SOCIAL CONQUEST Chris Munce Ronnie Stewart 95.7L 13 57kg $101
1 GOOD STANDING James Cummings Damian Browne 0
3 HEROIC VALOUR Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards Opie Bosson 0
17 SIREN’S FURY Jason Coyle 0
11 SALSONIC Jason Coyle Mark Zahra 0
6 HALL OF FAME (NZ) Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards Damian Lane 0
15 MISS DEBUTANTE Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Tommy Berry 0

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