Niccanova Suited To 2017 George Moore Stakes

Toowoomba trainer Steve Tregea is pleased with his decision to bypass the Recognition Stakes with his returning gelding Niccanova in favour of a first-up sprint run in Saturday’s George Moore Stakes 2017.

Most Important

Reigning champion Most Important (outside) is back to defend his title in the 2017 George Moore Stakes in Brisbane on Saturday. Photo: Daniel Costello.

Stepping-up the action of the Brisbane Summer Racing Carnival on Saturday, the Group 3 $200,000 George Moore Stakes (1200m) attracted a bumper 17 nominations on Monday.

Among them is the Tregea-trained Niccanova, the son of Nicconi making his four-year-old debut.

Originally Niccanova was considered for a resuming run in last Saturday’s Listed Recognition Stakes (1350m), won by Crack Me Up.

Tregea however opted to give the galloper another week with the shorter distance of the George Moore Stakes a better option fresh for the lightly-raced summer hopeful.

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

“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.”

A winner of four of his six starts, Niccanova is yet to finish out of the money and is already has a Group 3 victory on the board.

He saluted in late May at Eagle Farm in the wet to win the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1400m) from a wide gate 16 of 17 draw, before his fast-finishing third to Salsonic in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) at Doomben on June 10 at his last start.

“I didn’t want to over-match him so early in his career as I obviously have a big opinion of him,” Tregea said of the decision to run Niccanova in the Guineas over the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap against the older horses in the winter.

Next year’s Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival riches again call for Niccanova following his summer campaign.

It is shaping-up as a quality edition of the George Moore Stakes on Saturday with Monsieur Gustav from the Sunshine Coast stables of Darryl Hansen the likely favourite.

Tony Gollan won the race last year with Most Important, nominated to defend his title in 2017, who backed-up from a lead-up third in the Listed Keith Noud Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm.

This season’s Keith Noud ran at Ipswich on November 22 after being postponed due to wet weather at Doomben the Saturday prior, and saw Al Maher five-year-old Monsieur Gustav enjoy a first-up win taking his record to three on the trot.

The now Tamworth-based veteran eight-year-old Beauty Flame is another intriguing entry, the Hong Kong expat having their first start on Australian soil for trainer Melanie O’Gorman if accepted.

The official George Moore Stakes 2017 field and betting odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are set for release on Wednesday.

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