Double for Gratz

Written By: Simon Dinopoulos

Canberra based trainer Gratz Vella collected his first winning double for the season at the Canberra race meeting on Friday 28 May, elevating him to outright sixth in the Canberra Race Club’s Trainers Premiership.

The Vella stable collected its first victory when two  year old Milly Turncoat edged out stablemate Tiara Time to win the first race, a two year old handicap over 1000 metres.  A winning quinella for the Canberra based trainer, Vella was very impressed with both horses’ efforts.

 “I was delighted, they both showed plenty of courage to beat the more favoured runners.” Vella said.

 Although both ranked outsiders in the market, Vella was confident both horses would be competitive.

 “I wasn’t sure if they would be able to beat the two favorites, but I knew they would be in the finish.”

 The race unexpectedly saw the Mark de Montfort trained odds on favourite Travaldo finish a disappointing last beaten three and a half lengths.

 Vella would have to wait till the last race before he would record another victory with three year old Chosen Time overcoming a wide barrier to take out the benchmark 65 over 1300 metres.

 Rising impressively through the grades Chosen Time has now recorded an impressive three wins in a row with Vella still adamant there is improvement in him.

 “Two starts ago he won a maiden, last start he just won a benchmark 65 … Every start he just keeps on improving.”

 Vella said he hopes to continue his form over the remaining three race meetings of the season which hopefully would see him finish inside the top three in the trainers premiership.

 The Canberra Race Club will discontinue racing on the Course Proper over winter moving all racing to the Acton Track for the next six race meetings.

 Since its installation in November 2004, the Acton track has held over thirty race meetings with the first conducted on the 12th of May in 2006.

The transition during winter has proven to be very popular with trainers over the years with Vella claiming it one of the best tracks available.  

Recognised as an all weather surface the Acton Track plays host to the prestigious Tony Campbell Cup which will be held later this year on the 3rd of September.