Chris Waller had to wait a little longer than he thought to get Verry Elleegant but it was worth it.
The champion trainer was very keen to buy Verry Elleegant before now-suspended trainer Darren Weir and his owners snuck under the radar and got her at the last minute.
When Weir was outed this year, she was quickly transferred to Waller, who has won three races from four starts with Saturday’s triumph in the Australian Oaks being his 99th Group 1 win as a trainer.
“We thought we had her,” Waller said. “We made offers but it was just too hard then the next thing she’s coming over to us for Darren’s stable.
“It’s funny how it works out. You’ve got play the long game.”
Waller said she could develop into a Melbourne Cup horse, but said he would know more when she returned in the spring.
“It’s hard to say if she’ll stay or not, time will tell, but the best is yet to come,” he said of the filly who won the Vinery Stud Stakes last month. “We’ll be remembering Verry Elleegant’s win here. It was a great race and she’ll have a great spring.”
James McDonald rode the filly, who was at her usual high head carrying best throughout the run, which would normally worry punters, but that’s just the way she races.
McDonald rode her very confidently from the 800m and she looked comfortable the whole way in defeating the courageous Scarlet Dream by 1 ¾ lengths. She paid $2 with the TAB.
“This has been brilliant. She’s been a work in progress. I’ve had a lot to do with her for the whole time. She has been tricky but she has grown up so much,” McDonald said.
“I never thought I would see the day of her relaxing over 2400m, however, she has done that brilliantly. She felt even better on that track today. She ran as straight as a dime and was dominant.
“I’ve had four or five days to think about the whole game plan. I was at the barrier draw and got barrier 12. I was a little bit devastated by that because I thought she would need all of the favours.”
Race second favourite Frankely Awesome ($5) ran third after a mid-race move by jockey Hugh Bowman to take up the running. She ran on gamely
“She ran her race. I was very proud of her but the winner was just too classy,” Bowman said. – The Daily Telegraph