Niccanova wins the Listed Brisbane Handicap (Trackside Photography)
Steve Tregea is a master of his own destiny in the world of thoroughbred racing.
Tregea breeds to race and the ones that represent his boutique Toowoomba stable on the track, he trains himself.
That’s why he has a simple approach to getting consistent results: put the horse first, don’t push them too much and wait for the rewards to come.
It doesn’t always work out that way but the fundamentals of Tregea’s breeding and training operation have delivered more success at stakes level.
One of the best horses in Tregea’s stable added to his black-type record when Niccanova won the Listed Brisbane Handicap over 1600m at Doomben.
In much the same way as he has been trained, patience in the saddle was also the key to his victory.
Settling in the second half of the field, Niccanova stormed down the outside to beat Sir Plush and The Candy Man to send his stake earnings well past $500,000.
Niccanova is a perfect example of how the Tregea model works.
A six-year-old, Niccanova was lining up for just the 21st start of a career that has now netted eight wins – including three at stakes level.
The Brisbane Handicap win came 12 months after success in the Listed Recognition Stakes at Doomben, his first since arriving on the scene with a Group Three victory as a lightly raced three-year-old in 2017.
“He’s had little problems along the way, things that have slowed him up … but we haven’t rushed him either,” Tregea said.
Because he can train to his own timetable under the Windemere Stud banner, Tregea says he has no interest in chasing two-year-old riches with his team.
“We don’t rush our two-year-olds,” he said.
“We give them a bit of work and put them out again. I think we raced one two-year-old last year.
“I prefer to let them mature.”
Niccanova is the first foal of unraced Snippetson mare Dananova, who died in 2017.
“There’s plenty of bad luck in the game and we’ve hit a lot of it,” Tregea said.
“Mares sometimes don’t get in foal. It’s a very expensive business, a great consumer of money.
“You need a bit of success occasionally.”
Niccanova is the fourth stakes winner in 2019-20 for Widden Stud’s Nicconi, a sire whose progeny continues to fly under the radar.
One of Nicconi’s best performers to date is the three-time Group One winner Nature Strip, who has taken over the mantle of Australia’s highest-rated sprinter.