Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
A great battle between two star mares is on the cards for Royal Randwick this weekend with Verry Elleegant and Colette renewing their rivalry in the Chipping Norton Stakes 2021.
First-up Chris Waller’s Caulfield Cup winning Zed mare Verry Elleegant ran an eye-catching third doing her best work late in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago.
She is tipped to return to winning form second-up back at the track this Saturday as the punters’ pick in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
Set to appreciate the extra distance, Verry Elleegant is one of just nine final acceptors in the Chipping Norton Stakes field that is full of class despite the diminutive size.
Drawn gate four, the favourite is at a current quote of $2.70 in Chipping Norton Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au to continue Waller’s outstanding record in the race.
Waller has prepared eight of the past 10 Chipping Norton Stakes winners starting back in 2011 with Danleigh and boosted by the incredible four-peat of Winx (2016-19).
Along with Verry Elleegant, Waller also saddles-up three other Chipping Norton Stakes runners this season with Toffee Tongue, Funstar and Kolding.
All three are also graduates out of the Apollo Stakes having run sixth, fourth and second respectively behind the Godolphin-raced winner Colette.
The James Cummings-trained Hallowed Crown mare Colette won the $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) last October and resumed in the Apollo Stakes.
She went around at double figures that day but was absolutely dominant with a two-length romp home over the class field.
Colette is being kept much safer in betting second-up against many of the same rivals on Saturday paying $3.20 in the Chipping Norton Stakes odds.
Jockey Rachel King continues her association on the gun four-year-old and is confident she’s on the right horse to win the Group 1, especially if there’s any give in the track.
“She is a little war horse,” King told Racenet this week.
“To come back and do what she did first-up, she has got plenty improvement in her and has proven she is very versatile.
“Hopefully it can keep raining during the week.”
The aforementioned Kolding is the other danger under double-figures, the Ocean Park five-year-old at $4.60 to win third-up.
He took out the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at this track and distance last September and also ran second first-up this prep in the Expressway Stakes before the Apollo Stakes placing.
Kolding presents fitter for the run, has Hugh Bowman retaining the ride and is out to turn the tables on the mares here.
2021 Chipping Norton Stakes Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||8x02110x22||KOLDING (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||2||59kg||114|
|2||33x462605x||AVILIUS (GB)||James Cummings||Nash Rawiller||7||59kg||111|
|3||441301x79x||SOUTHERN FRANCE (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jason Collett||3||59kg||108|
|4||114x04508x||MASTER OF WINE (GER)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||9||59kg||106|
|5||x68x0720x8||PRINCE FAWAZ||Anthony Cummings||Tom Marquand||1||59kg||99|
|6||12x14117x3||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||4||57kg||120|
|7||111x0561x1||COLETTE||James Cummings||Ms Rachel King||8||57kg||112|
|8||142x6220x4||FUNSTAR||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||5||57kg||108|
|9||21x58203x6||TOFFEE TONGUE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||6||57kg||104|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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