The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Verry Elleegant claimed her first win under new trainer Chris Waller on Saturday in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.
The former Darren Weir galloper entered as the $2.50 favourite with Ladbrokes, and although the three-year-old won comfortably in the end, it was yet another awkward and ugly run second-up.
In a race that hardly featured much speed, jockey James McDonald found himself third-last out of the barriers to establish inside position along the rails. The pair moved up to challenge the leading Seabrook down the straight, but Verry Elleegant’s explosive turn of foot proved too much for Mick Price’s three-year-old, going on to lose by three-and-a-half lengths.
McDonald got on the whip over the final furlong to coast home no trouble. The plan ahead looks to be a trip to the $500,000 Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) in a fortnight’s time, but after showing no improvement with the nose roll on, champion trainer Chris Waller still thinks there is work to do.
“How far she gets this prep I’m not sure, but obviously we will go a bit higher” Waller said after the race.
“There’s certainly room for improvement but she has got a lot of class.”
Waller went on to admit he’s still learning about the horse after acquiring her from the Weir stables earlier this year. Despite firming into $3.80 favourtism for the Vinery, Waller wants to enjoy the win while he can.
“[The Vinery] seems logical, and a nice stepping stone, she had a minor setback after her first up run which was well documented so I guess she was a little bit fresh but hopeful today’s run can just bring her back and she gets a bit of confidence. Certainly she has got the ability there. A few little changes and she’ll be right on the job.
“It’s not something that you can change too quickly, I think it’s just time. Mentally, let them relax and be horses. As you can see we’ve got a nose roll on, I don’t think it’s helping, maybe you take it off, I don’t know.
“We won’t worry about it today, we’ll enjoy the win. This has been a good race for us, and hopefully this year is no different.”
Vinery Stud Stakes Odds:
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