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VERSATILE VELLA A DAB HAND AT TRAINING

MONDAY: July 22, 2019: HAWKESBURY horseman Matthew Vella’s core business is breaking in and pre-training – and he’s proving a dab hand at training them in his own right as well.

Vella’s success with consistent filly Our Blue Moon at Goulburn today continued easily his best season as a trainer.

He notched his sixth win in 2018-19 when Our Blue Moon ($8.50) ended a run of minor placings in the Maiden Handicap (1200m).

Vella convinced talented apprentice Cejay Graham to travel from Sydney for the one mount at the meeting – and it paid off.

It was the first time she had ridden at Goulburn, and had no hesitation taking Our Blue Moon to the front soon after the start, and then controlled the race.

The filly, who had been placed at four of her first five starts, never looked in danger and gave a strong “kick” in the straight to hold out Canasta ($11) and Wicked Willy ($15).

Vella missed the win as he is having a short break in Nashville (USA), but took great satisfaction in breaking Our Blue Moon’s duck.

“John and Maree Mckelvey bred this filly and John passed away recently,” Vella said.

“Maree was really pleased that we were able to win with Our Blue Moon.”

Vella says he hasn’t focused more on the training side of business this season, but is looking forward to increasing the size of his team in the new season.

“I’ve only got a few horses in work at present, but expect to have seven or eight in the near future,” he said.

“Also, I have a really good team behind me, including Andre Rabbett and Enzo Mezonguel.

“They are certainly a big help. It’s been a very busy year with the ‘breakers’ and I’m fortunate to be able to rely on them to take a short break.”

Vella also decided to put blinkers on Our Blue Moon after she had finished third as a $2.30 favorite in a Maiden Plate (1200m) at Mudgee on July 7.