TUESDAY: February 4, 2020: PACY filly Special Date is ready to go back to town to chase a hat-trick for her trainer Matt Vella.
But he isn’t sure yet whether it will be in Sydney or Melbourne.
A $500,000 purchase at the 2018 Magic Millions yearling sale, the Snitzel filly has won both her starts for the Hawkesbury trainer at Muswellbrook, the latest in a Class 1 Handicap (900m) yesterday.
A $1.50 hotpot, Special Date (Mitchell Bell) was too nippy for her rivals and beat Leo ($8.50) by nearly two lengths.
She had also outsped her rivals to score by more than six lengths to shed her maiden status over the same course on January 3.
Special Date is raced by Vella’s employer, New Zealander Sir Owen Glenn, who races her under his Go Bloodstock Australia banner.
Delighted with Special Date’s progress, Vella considers the three-year-old is ready for another crack at city company (she finished seventh after making the pace on the Kensington track in a 2YO Handicap, 1100m on March 6 last year when on debut).
“She appears to have pulled up well, and it’s time to give her another chance in town,” Vella said today.
“There is a Benchmark 70 Handicap (1000m) on the Kensington track on February 19, and another Benchmark 70 (Heat 14 of the 55 Second Challenge) over 955m at Moonee Valley a couple of nights later.
“It would have been preferable to keep Special Date against her own age (three-year-old), but they are both open Benchmarks.
“I’ll monitor her progress and make a decision which way we go.
“But I can envisage her being hard to run down over the 955m at the Valley, especially if she is a couple of lengths in front rounding the home turn.”
Vella, understandably, was delighted with the performance of his Nicconi five-year-old I’m A Legend at Canterbury last Friday night.
I’m A Legend ($21) finished a close third to Isorich in a Benchmark 70 Handicap (1250m), and his trainer felt he was unlucky not to have won.
“We’ll find another suitable race for him soon, and I’m sure he will be hard to beat,” Vella said.
I’m A Legend has raced only 14 times so far for two wins and eight placings.