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Bit Of A Yarn

Verry Elleegant - Cox Plate 2021 - the multi multiplier!


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Vets gave the all clear.

Galloped the best she ever has this week.  Waller thinks the trip south may have just softened her a bit in her last race.

$8 for the Cox Plate and it looks like being wet.  Will she get her revenge on Zaaki?

 

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15 hours ago, holy ravioli said:

any idea who's riding her?

Before her last run Damian Lane was booked for her,so unless that's changed,he'll be on. I love the mare so i'll be on her again and if the wet comes and she handles the Valley she will be tough.

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6 minutes ago, Mardy said:

Before her last run Damian Lane was booked for her,so unless that's changed,he'll be on. I love the mare so i'll be on her again and if the wet comes and she handles the Valley she will be tough.

Waller was upbeat in his report on 2KY yesterday.  He suspects the trip to Melbourne and the change in surrounds may have put or a fraction off.  She galloped as good as she ever has late this week.

In the back of my mind though is sometimes when a horse puts in an uncharacteristic performance there is a physical issue hiding somewhere.

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56 minutes ago, Chief Stipe said:

 

In the back of my mind though is sometimes when a horse puts in an uncharacteristic performance there is a physical issue hiding somewhere.

I'd agree there, although who would be arrogant enough to second-guess Waller?  Not me anyway.

Hopefully she is AOK...even the 'mares in spring'  situation might have a bearing,  I'm not sure if Regumate can be used or not, there was some publicity a year or two back.  And she is another year older, thinking of that.

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1 minute ago, Freda said:

I'd agree there, although who would be arrogant enough to second-guess Waller?  Not me anyway.

Expressing an opinion isn't being arrogant - racing is a sport afterall. 

An update though - listening to the racing roundup on 2KY this morning Waller said she was really flat after her last race.  Vets checks OK but her bloods were average to slightly below average.  They took her to Moonee Valley yesterday morning and she was back to her perky self.  Galloping her on Tuesday.

Incentivise is not going to the Cox Plate.

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2 hours ago, Mardy said:

Before her last run Damian Lane was booked for her,so unless that's changed,he'll be on. I love the mare so i'll be on her again and if the wet comes and she handles the Valley she will be tough.

Lane confirmed but lucky!  Got an 8 meeting suspension for a whip violation on Collette.  He has deferred so he can ride Verry Elleegant in the Cox Plate.

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Verry special mare set for Cox Plate glory

Verry Elleegant is in search of a 10th Group 1 win when she tackles the W.S. Cox Plate at The Valley on Saturday. Picture: Getty ImagesVerry Elleegant is in search of a 10th Group 1 win when she tackles the W.S. Cox Plate at The Valley on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images
 
 
By Ray Thomas
05:29pm • 21 October 2021
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The dam cost about $10,000, the sire had a service fee of just $500 – and the product of the mating has won nearly $10 million.

Champion mare Verry Elleegant is the type of rag-to-riches story that keeps the romance in racing. It provides hope that everyone is a chance in this game.

Verry Elleegant, recently crowned Horse of the Year for 2020-21, is already the winner of nine Group 1 races and $9.3 million to be eighth on the all-time leading prizemoney earners.

Sydney Racing: Golden Slipper Day

Victory in the W.S. Cox Plate would lift Verry Elleegant to fifth on the list of Australia’s All-Time Leading Prizemoney earners. Picture: Getty Images

But if Verry Elleegant can win the Group 1 $5 million Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday, she will collect another $3 million and vault to fifth in the prizemoney ranking, rising above legendary mare Sunline ($11.3 million).

For New Zealand hobby breeder and part-owner Don Goodwin, 83, Verry Elleegant’s success on the racetrack continues to astound him.

“I had one broodmare, Opulence, when Verry Elleegant was born,” Goodwin said. “I’ve only got two broodmares now.

“For someone like me to breed such a great mare is a wonderful thrill – it is almost unbelievable.”

The story goes that Goodwin was a part-owner of Zed, a son of Zabeel, who showed considerable promise before a leg injury prematurely ended his race career.

Zed had only won a maiden at Hastings so he certainly wasn’t regarded as a commercial stallion prospect when retired to stud but Goodwin retained shares in the young sire.

A few years later, Goodwin noticed the pedigree of the mare, Opulence, who was part of the 2011 NZ Broodmare Sale catalogue.

AUSTRALIA’S ALL-TIME LEADING PRIZEMONEY EARNERS

1 Winx $26,451,174

2 Redzel $16,444,000

3 Nature Strip $14,953,686

4 Makybe Diva $14,526,690

5 Sunline $11,351,610

6 Classique Legend $9,385,500

7 Northerly $9,341,850

8 Verry Elleegant $9,315,744

9 Chautauqua $8,821,935

10 So You Think $8,813,497

Opulence was a moderate performer on the racetrack but her great-granddam was Cotehele House, herself the dam of multiple Group 1 winner Danewin.

More importantly, Cotehele House was out of the incomparable broodmare Eight Carat, herself the dam of five Group 1 winners including champions Octagonal and Mouawad.

“I kept looking at Opulence’s breeding through Eight Carat so I decided to try and buy her,” Goodwin said. He needed to sign a cheque for only about $A10,000 to secure the mare.

Goodwin sent the mare to Zed, who stands at Grangewilliam Stud in Wanganui and the first mating, Verry Flash, has been a handy horse for his owner-breeder, winning eight races and placing at Group 3 level.

Then a year later, Verry Elleegant was born – and the rest is history.

This is Verry Elleegant’s second attempt at the Cox Plate after she ran unplaced behind Lys Gracieux two years ago.

The Chris Waller-trained Verry Elleegant is a far superior racehorse these days although she goes into Saturday’s race off an indifferent fourth to Incentivise in the Turnbull Stakes.

“Her blood wasn’t quite right after the Turnbull,” Goodwin said.

Racehorse Danewin winning Race 7, Royal Soveriegn Stakes, at Randwick, jockey Shane Dye. 18/02/95.  Sport / Turf / Action

Verry Elleegant is a descendant of the great broodmare Cotehele House, the dam of for top racehorse Danewin (pictured).

“She is a six-year-old mare, maybe it was the trip from Sydney to Melbourne, but she is a lot better now. She is eating really well and the stable is very positive about her chances in the Cox Plate.

“I was there to watch her in the Cox Plate two years ago but she drew barrier four, missed the start and that was the end of that.

“She has barrier nine on Saturday and I think that is quite good to be honest. I have every faith in her.”

With the success of Verry Elleegant, Goodwin has no reason to send Opulence anywhere else but to visit Zed each spring breeding season.

Breeding racehorses can be a time-consuming practice with no guarantees. Often it is frustrating, even heartbreaking business.

“We had a full brother to Verry Elleegant that would have been a two-year-old this season but he suffered a paddock accident in July and had to be put down,” Goodwin said.

“When she had that colt, the mare was haemorrhaging at birth and we almost lost her. She spent a week at the vets recovering so she didn’t have a foal last year.

Opulence with the baby brother to Verry Elleegant

Opulence, with her colt by Zed, making him a full brother to Verry Elleegant.

“But she got through it and had another colt by Zed in August and she is already back in foal to him again.

“I’ve got to get a filly soon, surely. I’m hoping to get a sister to Verry Elleegant so we can breed from her.”

With the pandemic keeping international borders closed, Goodwin is confined to watching Verry Elleegant’s latest Cox Plate attempt from the comforts of his lounge room at his Auckland home.

Finally, Goodwin is obviously the best person to clear up once and for all the spelling of Verry Elleegant.

Once mocked for being a “poor speller”, Goodwin offers a more heartwarming reason for the mare’s unusual name.

“Ellee is my granddaughter’s name,” Goodwin said. “I played around with it and came up with Verry Elleegant.

“I had named her older brother Verry Flash and put to two r’s in his name to make it look different, I think it catches your eye.”

 
 
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The great mare set for Glory today . 10 group 1's will be looking good near her name. No Zaaki means great chance now ........

Damian Lane steered Lys Gracieux to victory 2 years ago , so he knows the course well. 

I think a chance of the kiwi Tri as well !! with VE-Probabeel-CallsignMav a fair chance. Big Mo' a solid chance toget amongst it.

The BOAY pin-up girl Verry Elleegant to do Nz proud once again.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/23/2021 at 11:34 AM, Gammalite said:

The BOAY pin-up girl Verry Elleegant to do Nz proud once again

And again , and again , and again ,and again . Actually the Cox Plate 3rd placing was HUGE . take a look how close she got to the 2 protest horses ? She was just about in the photo. 

Her Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup runs last season 2020, were sensational. And her Sydney form as well ........ staggering.

What an absolute DEMOLITION job in the Cup today. I was happy to see our QLDer run a great 2nd to such a prolific Group 1 horse.

Think if mine would retire her immeadiately (JMHO) as has 'Done the lot" and wouldn't want anything to go wrong now on track.

A true NZ marvel. 

 

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38 minutes ago, Gammalite said:

Think if mine would retire her immeadiately (JMHO) as has 'Done the lot" and wouldn't want anything to go wrong now on track.

 

It's a tough one Gamma , but i can see them going again at the championships , but yeah there is always that chance of something terrible happening . I'm sure they will do right by the mare .

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