10-time Group One winner Verry Elleegant.  Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

Europe in the crosshairs for Verry Elleegant

NZ Racing Desk
23 November 2021

Australia’s darling of the turf, Verry Elleegant, will likely get her chance to pit her talents against the best in Europe next year.

The New Zealand-bred has nothing left to prove in Australia, having won 10 Group One races, ranging in distance from 1400m to 3200m.

The Gr.1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (2400m) in Paris next September has been earmarked as her main target, a race that was bandied around by some of her owners previously.

"The owners raised the idea last year and I wasn't quite as keen, but I think now is a good time to do it,” Waller told UK Racing TV show Luck On Sunday.

"The beauty of Verry Elleegant is that she is adaptable over all distances. She's won a Group One race over 1400m through to 3200m now and she's won in all conditions.

"A very firm surface is no problem and a very wet surface, she is almost as effective. To me that is the right type of horse to travel.

"She's a very clean-winded horse who doesn't need a lot of work. She can do her work here in Australia and pick out two or three races over there.

"The owners have their hearts set on the Arc, which is obviously a very, very hard race to win.

“We wouldn't come expecting to win the Arc. It's just great racing and to be part of it is one thing and to have a horse good enough to be winning that many Group One races here in Australia, obviously she is at the level required to be at least competitive, of course respecting what we will be taking on."

While not yet certain whether Verry Elleegant may kick-off in England next winter on her way to France, Waller said her Australian preparation would include four starts and end with the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in April.

"She will start racing in mid-February and her last race in her preparation will be her fourth race and that will be about the 10th of April.

“We'll have that time to prepare to bring her across and work out whether we come out early or late and probably late being a mare with seasonal challenges and all."

The daughter of Grangewilliam Stud stallion Zed was originally trained in New Zealand by part-owner Nick Bishara, for whom she won two of her three starts before her partial sale and move to Australia.

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