Niceforo out to make mark at home track

BOOKED: Jess Taylor will ride Anna's Joy at Kembla Grange on Thursday. Picture: AAP Image/Brendan Esposito
BOOKED: Jess Taylor will ride Anna's Joy at Kembla Grange on Thursday. Picture: AAP Image/Brendan Esposito

When Paul Niceforo had enough of only training tried horses, he decided to start saving.

The Kembla-based horseman desired to build a bigger profile in the training ranks despite having his fair share of success with a number of well-travelled campaigners.

To do that Niceforo knew he’d need to invest and that would eventually lead him to the sales yard. 

“I thought I would buy my own horses to get myself established,” Niceforo, who has held a provincial licence for 25 years, explains. 

“The idea is, if I can prove successful with those it might entice other people to offer me other horses [to train].

“That’s the goal. If it doesn’t happen, it really doesn’t worry me. I will just train mine.

“But if it comes to fruition, that would be fantastic.”

Niceforo, currently based out of Lauren Davies stables at Kembla, ended up purchasing two horses at the sales while also getting his hands on ex David Vandyke trained sprinter Just Like Stratum. 

Only one of those purchases – a mare named Anna’s Joy – is currently in work.

She is poised to make her debut at Kembla on Thursday more than two years after Niceforo bought the daughter of Wanted for $26,000 at the Magic Millions Sales in 2015. 

“I bought her about two or three years ago and have given her time to grow and develop,” Niceforo said ahead of her debut. 

“She was quite a large filly when I bought her and she just had to grow into herself and thicken out.

“She has been in and out in that time.”

Niceforo is keeping his options open for Anna’s Joy’s debut, with a country and provincial maiden at Gosford next week also a possibility. 

He has given the mare one trial in the lead-up to her maiden preparation, which Anna’s Joy won at Goulburn earlier this month.

“She trialled nice but it was on a heavy track,” Niceforo said.

“It was at Goulburn so it wasn’t up against the locals and not your Gary Portelli’s and James Cummings’s. 

“I was very happy with it though, but this run at Kembla would be a big step up from there.” 

With runners from prominent Sydney stables of Gerald Ryan, Gary Portelli and Joseph Price all nominated for Thursday’s Corrimal RSL Club 3 Or Less Starts Maiden Handicap (1000m), Niceforo was expecting Anna’s Joy to face stiff competition should he elect to debut her at Kembla. 

“At this time of year when you go to Kembla midweek, you can expect it to be pretty strong,” he said.

“Looking at the way some of them have trialled and been prepared, a few of these might feature towards the carnivals.

“It’s a good race and I think it will be a pretty good form race.

“If she runs a nice race, I will be over the moon.”