Homebred racetrack success continues to spring eternal for Victorian breeders, the Gordon and Devitt families, with their three-year-old colt Tony Nicconi putting his hand up to be their next star.
A son of their homebred stallion Nicconi, Tony Nicconi is a progressive colt that confirmed his potential with a tenacious win in the Group 3 MRC Vain Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
A dazzling debut winner at Caulfield, the Lindsay Park trained colt was stepping up sharply in class for this 1100 metre sprint. Tony Nicconi toughed it out into a strong headwind to have enough left at the finish to hold off the fast-finishing Long Leaf by a long neck.
“David was delighted with the performance and said he would keep Tony sprinting. He is looking at running in the McNeil Stakes over 1200m at Caulfield in two weeks before running in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes, with the ultimate aim, the Coolmore,” co-owner/breeder Russell Gordon said.
Russell’s father Les and family friend and co-breeder and owner Peter Devitt, along with Robert Sangster and Colin Hayes enjoyed much success early in their racing days with their first galloper King’s High winning the Victoria Derby and the Australian Guineas.
“We were lucky to find another champion after King’s High with Niconero, who won five Group 1s for us. He was out of Nicola Lass who we also bred and raced. She is a proven ‘blue hen’ given that another of her progeny is our stallion Nicconi,” Gordon said.
“Peter and my father started buying, breeding and racing horses with Colin and once we were old enough, my two brothers and I became involved as well. We have made sure after my father passed away we have continued his legacy.
“Now David Hayes is involved in a few of the mares too. Another Nicconi, Hear The Chant, a Group 3 winner of the Thoroughbred Club Cup, will now join our broodmare band, and is off to Zoustar this year.
“It’s a funny story of how Tony Nicconi was named. We are very good old friends with Tony McEvoy through our long association with the Hayes family so when my brother Craig ran into Tony at the airport, he mentioned that he should get a few Nicconis into his stable.
“Tony replied with a cheeky grin, a few, I have eighteen of them in the stable – they are calling me Tony Nicconi!!!”
“And so our little Nicconi colt was named. He’s pretty sharp McEvoy, as he has since tapped us a few times on the shoulder after a win to ask when he is getting his sling for the naming rights…and it may be a decent amount, especially if Tony Nicconi comes out and wins a Group 1 this spring!”
Tony Nicconi is the first stakes winner and third live foal for Elusive Quality mare Wickham, who was purchased by the Nicconi Syndicate for $80,000 at the 2010 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.
A daughter of Group 1 placed Alydar mare, Quinpool, Wickham’s first Nicconi foal, My Michelle, was a multiple winner and city placed, while her next, Booradley is a city winner.