Promising sprinter Niccanova will be facing his toughest test to date when he resumes in the Group 3 $200,000 George Moore Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.

Calanda, above, is the early favourite for the George Moore Stakes at Doomben. Photo by Steve Hart.

Calanda, above, is the early favourite for the George Moore Stakes at Doomben. Photo by Steve Hart.

The Steve Tregea trained Niccanova will be facing the starter for the first time as a four year old after showing plenty of ability against the three year olds during the 2017 Brisbane Winter Carnival and is one of seventeen nominations for the George Moore Stakes.

Nicconova kicked off his Winter Carnival campaign with a first up win in restricted class over 1200m at the Gold Coast and then went on to win the Group 3 $150,000 Fred Best Classic (1400m) at Eagle Farm on May 27.

Tregea gave Nicconova one more run and the Nicconi gelding was spelled after finishing third behind Salsonic and Volpino in the Group 2 $350,000 Ascot Green Queensland Guineas (1600m) at Doomben on June 10.

The Downs trainer said that Niccanova is in fine shape for his return to the race track for the Summer Carnival but is a little bit wary how he is going to handle the open class sprinters.

“I think it’s a tall order for the horse,” Tregea told The Courier-Mail.

“He raced well in all those carnival races, but it was three-year-old.

“He’s a horse that handles affected going so he got through Eagle Farm when a lot of others didn’t.

‘‘Then he went back and raced well in the Guineas for sure, but (lesser performed stablemate) Rhyming was only two lengths behind him.

“It’s a lot different going to Open company against those really good horses and I think people forget that.

‘‘They get carried away with the hype on a horse. But I hope I’m wrong.”

“He’s going well enough. We’ve tried to keep him fresh, but keep him fit enough.’’

Early betting for the George Moore takes at has Niccanova marked as a $6 chance behind the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Calanda at $3.75, Bjorn Baker’s Egyptian Symbol at $4.60 and last start winner Monsieur Gustave at $5.

Early betting for the George Moore Stakes at $3.75 Calanda, $4.60 Egyptian Symbol, $5 Monsieur Gustave, $6 Niccanova, $9 Snoopy, $11 Big Money, Palazzo Pubblico, $13 Beauty Flame, $17 Siegfried, $21 Brooklyn Storm, Casual Choice, $26 Hi I’m Back, Most Important, Perfect Dare, $34 Counter Meal, Quatronic, Upstart Pride.