Gratz Vella. Photo: Stuart Walmsley
When Gratz Vella first saw Double Night he thought he was a polo pony, not a thoroughbred.
Small and ''like a little tank'', Vella didn't think the son of Foreplay would make it to the races.
But the five-year-old gelding will look for his seventh win in the past 13th starts when he jumps in the Tony Campbell Cup (1400 metres) at Canberra's Thoroughbred Park on Friday.
Double Night saluted last start, a benchmark 60 handicap (1000m) at Canberra, and has won three of his five races this preparation.
Vella thought he was a chance, despite coming up against a strong field including Capital Commander, who ran second to Quidnunc in the listed Nivison (1200m), and Gundagai Cup (1800m) winner Al Ahmar, especially as he'll carry just 54 kilograms.
''When he arrived, I thought the truck driver had dropped the wrong horse in, I thought he'd dropped in the polo pony,'' Vella said. ''[He's] very small and like a little tank. … [he] ran some nice races for me earlier, but I got frustrated with him and said we'd try something different with him and took him to Bombala and that's when he won his first race for me.''
Vella entered dual-nominated Chosen Time, but opted to send him to the Racecallers Cup (1600m) instead.