Otago Daily Times

Verry Ellee­gant too good in Caulfield Cup

- MICHAEL GUERIN Sports · Horse Racing · Beards · Facial Hair · Beauty · Fashion & Beauty · New Zealand · Australia · Auckland Region · Anthony van Dyck · Randwick · Van Dyke beard · Caulfield · Greater Auckland · LeBron James

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

 ??  ?? Chris Waller
Chris Waller

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