Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
Chris Waller’s brilliant mare Verry Elleegant has firmed into odds-on territory for her second-up run of the spring in the George Main Stakes 2021 at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
A small but top-class field of nine weight-for-age stars do battle in this season’s Group 1 $1 million George Main Stakes (1600m) including four for the race’s seven-time winning trainer Waller.
Waller has dominated the George Main Stakes results over the past decade enjoying victories with: Shoot Out (2012), Sacred Falls (2014), Kermadec (2015), his heroic three-time champion Winx (2016-18) and most recently Kolding (2020) last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.
The master horseman looks well positioned to add another trophy to the cabinet on Saturday with Zed six-year-old Verry Elleegant paying a short $1.90 in George Main Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The $8.6 million earner races second-up on Saturday having narrowly been denied victory fresh when runner-up to Mo’unga in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m).
That form was franked when Mo’unga ran a strong second to Cups’ favourite Incentivise in last Saturday’s Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
Verry Elleegant lines-up in the George Main Stakes for the third time having run fourth to Avilius in 2019 and fourth to her stablemate Kolding last year on the back of her Winx Stakes win in 2020.
She has been outstanding since racking up a host of Group 1 wins including in the Caulfield Cup and most recently the Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill in the autumn.
Drawn ideally in barrier two with James McDonald aboard, she’s the deserving and hard to beat favourite.
Waller’s other runners are the defending champion Kolding ($9.50), his Vinery Stud Stakes – ATC Oaks double winner Hungry Heart ($13) and Star Of The Seas ($21) coming off a third to Zaaki in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes.
The danger following Verry Elleegant in the markets at current George Main Stakes odds of $4.50 meanwhile is the Kerry Parker-trained Think It Over presenting fit third-up in gate six with Nash Rawiller in the saddle.
A six-year-old son of So You Think, the talented gelding won the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) back in March and has been good again this campaign.
It was a blanket finish in the Winx Stakes and he ran sixth only a half-length beaten before winning the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) over the mile on September 4.
The George Main Stakes field is completed by the Godolphin-raced Doncaster champion Cascadian ($11) coming off a Chelmsford Stakes fourth, the rails-drawn Chelmsford runner-up Riodini ($19) for Waterhouse/Bott, his 40/1 stablemate Shout The Bar in gate three and fellow roughie Lions Roar ($41) for John O’Shea.
2021 George Main Stakes Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||0x22501x59||KOLDING (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tim Clark||4||59kg||115|
|2||03x1214x61||THINK IT OVER||Kerry Parker||Nash Rawiller||6||59kg||113|
|3||25x3413x54||CASCADIAN (GB)||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||9||59kg||111|
|4||5x41690x03||STAR OF THE SEAS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Sam Clipperton||5||59kg||106|
|5||x9230x8752||RIODINI (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Rachel King||1||59kg||101|
|6||12x51434x9||LION’S ROAR (NZ)||John O’Shea||Regan Bayliss||8||58.5kg||103|
|7||117x3112x2||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||2||57kg||122|
|8||6014x300x5||SHOUT THE BAR||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Kathy O’Hara||3||57kg||108|
|9||27x78111x8||HUNGRY HEART||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||7||56.5kg||106|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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