17th Stakes-Winner for Nicconi
Nature Strip might not be the only star sprinter for Widden Stud’s Nicconi this spring with progressive colt Tony Nicconi confirming his potential with a tenacious win in the Group III MRC Vain stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
A dazzling debut winner at Caulfield on June 30, the Hayes / Dabernig trained colt was stepping up sharply in class for this 1100 metre sprint and taking on some classy types including his proven stakes-winning stablemate Long Leaf.
Partnered by Luke Nolen as he was on debut, Tony Nicconi went forward from his wide gate in the field of 10 and had enough left at the finish to hold off the fast finishing Long Leaf to win by a long neck..
“He was up in grade and quickened nicely. When you take into account the stiff head breeze and his inexperience it adds quite a bit to the win,” said Nolen.
“He makes my job easy.”
Co-trainer David Hayes was delighted with the performance and that of his stablemate Long Leaf.
“There’s a lot of improvement in him and Long Leaf was terrific too. He’s put his hand up for the Golden Rose and Caulfield Guineas, while the other horse will stick to the sprints aiming towards the Coolmore Stud Stakes (Group I),” he said.
A homebred for Peter Devitt and the Gordon family, who also bred and raced his sire Nicconi, Tony Nicconi is the fourth winner from Elusive Quality (UA) mare Wickham, who comes from the family of US Group I winner Gomo. Wickham was covered again by Nicconi last spring.
Tony Nicconi is the 17th stakes-winner for Nicconi, who had a great last season with over 100 winners of $5.7 million in prizemoney and stands at a fee of $24,750 this spring.