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  • John Curtis


MONDAY: August 9, 2021: Her name is Never Second – and she lived up to it at Goulburn today!

Trainer Matt Vella continued both his own and Hawkesbury’s excellent start to the new season when the lightly-raced mare became the seventh overall winner in the first nine days.

Vella also accepted with the Zoustar four-year-old in two races at his home track’s opening 2021-22 meeting of the racing year tomorrow, but opted for the Class 2 Handicap (1000m) at Goulburn, and came up trumps.

Whilst her victory wasn’t a surprise, her starting price certainly was.

A short-priced pre-post favorite, Never Second eased out to start at $3.20 due to the concerted support for Princess Of Meydan, who jumped a $2.40 favorite.

Jockey Chad Lever never left the fence on Never Second, who comfortably beat Princess Of Meydan , with fellow Hawkesbury representative, Jason and Lucy Attard’s Purposeful Miss ($14), third.

“It was the right race for her, even though she will be better at 1200m to 1400m,” Vella said as he returned to his Hawkesbury base.

“She was a bit fresh when she resumed and ran fourth in a provincial Class 1 over 1000m at Wyong on July 20.

“I wanted to give her another start at that distance, and instead of using ear muffs until she went into the barrier, I left them on her for the race.

“She is a bit quirky, and I’m sure it helped her focus better.

“We will probably keep them on for another start, and she will go to 1200m now.

“It’s been a good start to the season, and I’m pleased to win another race for the mare’s owner Sir Owen Glenn.”

Vella, who trained a personal best nine winners last season, also scored with another of Sir Owen’s mares, Roam Free, at Kembla Grange last Thursday.

Never Second, a daughter of former Queensland mare and six-times winner (including two Listed races) Dual Chamber, who died in March last year, has now raced five times for two wins and a second.

She made a winning debut, with Tommy Berry aboard, in an 1100m Maiden Plate at Gosford in October last year.

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