Otago Daily Times
Verry Elleegant too good in Caulfield Cup
AUCKLAND: A New Zealand mare by a onetime hack stallion downed racing royalty in the $A5 million ($NZ5.35 million) Caulfield Cup in Melbourne on Saturday.
In doing so, Verry Elleegant led home a New Zealand onethree finish in one of Australia's greatest races, Cambridgetrained The Chosen One a brave third.
Verry Elleegant was bred and started her racing career in New Zealand before being sold to Australian interests.
But former trainer Nick Bishara still shares in her ownership as does an Auckland family syndicate which includes former All Black and Warrior Mark Carter.
That is not her only New Zealand connection, though, as Verry Elleegant is trained by master trainer Chris Waller, who these days is based in Sydney but is a parochial Kiwi.
Verry Elleegant held out the late surge of Irish raider Anthony Van Dyck, the former English Derby winner trained by the world's leading trainer Aidan O'Brien, sired by champion Galileo and owned by some of the most powerful men in world racing.
But for all his blue blood, Anthony Van Dyck could not claw his way past the sometimes quirky New Zealand mare sired by Zed, a stallion who was of so little commercial value in his early days at stud he spent time serving nonthoroughbred mares to breed riding hacks.
Those days are behind Zed now and Verry Elleegant, who won $A3 million for her triumph, will head to the Melbourne Cup on November 3 as one of the favourites for the race that stops two nations.
That is also the likely target for The Chosen One, whom cotrainer Andrew Forsman described as awesome in third place at 601.
Earlier on racing's Super Saturday, favourite Classique Legend roared home to win the $A15 million Everest at Royal Randwick, remarkably giving jockey Kerrin McEvoy his third win in the race which has been going for only four years.
Classique Legend beat Bivouac and Gytrash in the the most valuable thoroughbred purse on turf in world racing.
``It's all in the genes,'' Classique Legend trainer Les Bridge said of the gelding. ``Some horses just get all the good genes.’’ — The New Zealand Herald