“Being one of the only sons of Criterion and showing the ability he has, Sir Owen just wants to give him another chance” said Vella.
“He has been frustrating. I would love to see him still with Peter and Paul running around in town but we’ll bring him back in grade.”
Having run third in the $1 million Golden Gift on debut, it was all systems go towards the Golden Slipper, but two poor showings on wet tracks behind Farnan aborted that plan. That is part of the reason Vella has been particular about dodging wet tracks for Blaze A Trail’s first-up assignment.
“I don’t want to risk it, it’s not that he is never going to run on a wet track again but I want to get it right first-up with him,” said Vella.
“I think he wants a mile plus so the 1300m is perfect. He is very fit, looks great and isn’t carrying as much condition as he usually would.”
Jockey Chad Lever has ridden Blaze A Trail in both impressive trial wins and will be instructed to let him find his feet and hit the line.
“Chad loves him. If he doesn’t run well he will probably be the most disappointed out of anyone,” Vella said.
“The horse is just running on natural ability, I’ve taken the blinkers off him and he has been settling well in his trials and quickening beautifully.”
Even if Blaze A Trail gets the maiden monkey off his back, Vella does not want to let himself think too far ahead.
“I’m just going to take it one race at a time because you could have planned to have him in the G1 JJ Atkins,” he said. “But we need to see him do it first.”
Race 1: (2) Chief Geronimo
Race 3: (5) Narvaez