Source : The Sydney Morning Herald, by Chris Roots
Photo : Bradleys Photos
Verry Elleegant has claims to being the world’s best after lowering the colours of a brave Addeybb for the first time in Australia in the group 1 Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.
But even her connections admit she will need to prove it again in next month’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes, where there will be return bout.
″She could be the best in the world but we have to beat him again,” managing owner Brae Sokolski said.
The memories of last year’s Ranvet flowed as Verry Elleegant ($2.80) and Addeybb ($2.15 fav) levelled up at the top of the straight again, but this time the race had a soundtrack and a different result. Addeybb was no longer the unheralded raider – on the international ratings he is the best horse in the world.
He made his name down under last year in winning the Ranvet and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes before going home to take the season-ending Champion Stakes at Ascot in October.
Verry Elleegant had won five group1 races since Addeybb beat her in the Ranvet last year and this would be number six as she was ready for the battle this time – stronger, more mature.
The pair found each other in the middle of Rosehill again and the battle this time was more one-sided as Verry Elleegant forged to a length victory.
There wasn’t the eerie silence of Covid last year where Addeybb fought back to win and the cracks of James McDonald and Tom Marquand’s whips echoed around Rosehill.
This time as Verry Elleegant launched and the Rosehill crowd was with her and she had the measure of her English foe.
″James didn’t pull the trigger as early this year, but when he went she quickened,″ Waller said. ″He started coming back, so I was thinking, ‘Oh it’s on again’ but gee she was tough the last 100m, as she was in the Caulfield Cup, as she’s been in so many of her races. She’s a world-class horse.″
McDonald was confident when he found Addeybb’s back at the 600m mark after travelling behind leader Angel Of Truth.
“Then when I got off at the 600m I said ‘he’s going to have to be good today’,” McDonald said. “Halfway up I could feel her at her top and he was still there and I was thinking, ‘Oh no, not again’. But she’s just a wonderful mare, great determination, fantastic will to win and she knows where that winning line is. She’s just a mighty mare.”
Marquand tipped his hat to Verry Elleegant as she had Addeybb’s measure by a length on the line, with the game Angel Of Truth three-quarters of a lengths away in third.
“Delighted with the run. As we kept saying before if we bump into her at her best it’s going to be tough to beat her,” Marquand said. “He gave his all. This was always going to be a run-up to a bigger day and he put his heart and soul into it.“
After the two equine bluebloods put on their exhibition, it was the turn of battling Kembla Grange trainer Kerry Parker to cause an upset with Think It Over ($26) in the George Ryder Stakes.
″It’s terrific, I’m over the moon,″ Parker said after Think It Over beat last year’s winner Dreamforce ($17) and favourite Avilius ($5) in a three-way drive to the line.
″It was just a gun ride by Bossy [Glen Boss] today. He took all the shortcuts again, which is what he’s been able to do on him.
″Coming into today, I thought I just need him to run well. If he’s a couple of lengths off them, I’ll be thrilled taking seven kilos off him back to the Doncaster. But to win it, sensational.″
In the final group 1 of the day, Eduardo ($5.50) made the Galaxy a one-act affair to frank his Challenge Stakes defeat of Nature Strip.
″He’s made a statement today; he made it the other day actually, but it was a statement not taken up by all,″ trainer Joe Pride said.