Verry Elleegant closes in on champion tag after George Main victory

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, by Chris Roots

Very Elleegant continues to build a resume that makes her the best of her generation as she made it nine group 1 victories in Saturday’s George Main Stakes at Randwick.

Verry Elleegant’s group 1s have come in nine different races. Only Winx with 11 wins in different group 1s events and Kingston Town with 10 stand above her.

It is rare air but Verry Elleegant still needs that career-defining victory. It might come in the Cox Plate, which that fabled pair she chases won four and three times respectively.

Verry Elleegant has won a Caulfield Cup, but when the biggest names have clashed she has been beaten, so far, and it is this that is denying her the champion tag of Winx and Kingston Town. Her chance for that will come at Moonee Valley next month.

“She is a good horse, simple as that,” trainer Chris Waller said. “It is an honour to train a horse like this.

“If she doesn’t win group 1s, she runs second in them over all distances on all track conditions. That is a rare commodity.”

Verry Elleegant has tested Waller and his team with her quirky nature over the years and given him his share of sleepless nights but now looks the finished package.

“She wouldn’t eat as well as we liked. It was a nightmare just trying to get her to each race,” Waller said. “As we all do, she has strengthened up as an older horse, and mentally she is a lot better.

“So that tells us that she is enjoying her racing and it all comes hand in hand.”

Verry Elleegant ($1.75 fav) continues to step up to a different level and beat new contenders.

The margin at the post was three-quarters of a length to Riodini ($13), with a brave Think It Over ($4.80) a half-head away in third after being posted three-wide throughout.

Verry Elleegant again produced a late charge to grab Riodini, which had skipped five lengths clear at the top of the rise, to win by enough to be convincing after she had James McDonald concerned on the way to the barriers.

“She was pretty cranky today. I was a little bit worried with her,” he said. “Going around she was quite cantankerous and wanting to get on with it.

“Once I jumped a little bit slow, I didn’t have many options and just let it unfold as it went.

“When I looked up at the 500m and Riodini had shot clear I thought it was going to take a mighty horse to run it down, and both Think It Over and Verry Elleegant went together but she pulls out all stops, this horse. She is just tough as nails.”

“He went super. We didn’t get any real favours in the run,” Rawiller said. “To the horse’s credit, he travelled really well and it was a very good effort.”

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