Classy three-year-old Nicoscene has delivered trainers Lee and Anthony Freedman a Stakes win on South Australian Derby Day; mustering an impressive sprint in the final straight to take out the Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) with relative ease at Morphettville.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Mark Zahra settled Nicoscene back in the pack and off the pace of early leaders Tudor, Risen From Doubt and Awesome Rock who flew the barriers and immediately strung out the field of 13.
Rounding onto the final straight back and with plenty to do, the son of Nicconi appeared to have just a little too much to do as Tudor and We’ve Got This locked in a sprint battle but Zahra found a gap between runners and allowed the three-year-old to charge forward; finding the lead pair with less than 200m to run and poking clear to post undoubtedly his best career victory to date and maiden at black type level.
Stamping his claims as one to watch as a late-starting two-year-old through the 2014 winter, Nicoscene ran third in a pair of minor Victorian sprints and returned to the paddock following an impressive win over notable competition in the Slickpix Sprint (1200m) in June.
Performing well over four spring starts highlighted by a credible third in the Group 3 Telstra Phonewords Stakes (1200m) on Cox Plate Day, Nicoscene returned this time for third in the BKB Building Solutions BM70 (1200m) before posting consecutive wins in the two Moonee Valley Sprints over 1200m.
Rank outsider Tudor was given little chance of success in the Euclase Stakes but almost led from start to finish in the Group 2 sprint.
Damien Oliver was able to use the ideal barrier 4 despite his mount, We’ve Got This, walking from the gates, with the Champion hoop finding a good position behind runners and tracking into the race at the right time to box on for third.
Nicoscene is yet to be confirmed for a specific next point of call but the three-year-old has extended his overall record to four wins and six minors through just 12 career starts with success in the 2015 Euclase Stakes.