Gratz Vella keeps filly at short trip for now

Canberra trainer Gratz Vella has plenty of options with his rising filly Crucial Witness but will stay at the shorter trip for another run at Wagga Wagga on Monday.

The Star Witness filly comes off an impressive two-length win at her home track over 1000m last start and lines up in a Class 2 Handicap (1000m).

It looks like a competitive race so she’ll have to go to another level again to win.

“It was a very good win last time because she did it the hard way. Everything else was more or less stalking her and she kicked away and won well,” Vella said.

“She’s done very well since that run which is why I’ve given her three weeks off to go to 1000m again.”

Regular rider Kayla Nisbet stays on but she’ll have to find a good spot in the run from barrier 10 which is the only knock against her mount on paper.

Vella just wants her to ride the race on instinct but she’ll no doubt be on the speed after leading all the way to win last time.

“I don’t like the gate but she’s going very well and the track plays pretty good there at Wagga and she’ll get a chance if she gets a nice sit behind them,” Vella said.

“I’ll leave it up to Kayla but the horse has got the talent to jump and be there. She’s third-up and peaking.”

Vella said she’ll get over more ground soon which will open up various options for her.

“I’d like to get her ready for the Wagga Guineas or the Queen of the Turf,” he said.

“I’ll know more about that after this race. A Highway race is another option.

“Looking at the way she works, I think 1400m and 1600m will eventually be her ideal distance.”

Casino Time is Vella’s other possible runner on the day, in race six, but he’ll need a scratching to get a run as he’s currently first emergency.

“He’ll go around if he gets a run. He’s on the quick back up because I need to get him up to 2000m. That’s where he races best,” Vella said.

Originally published asVella wants more out of improving filly Crucial Witness

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