Chris Waller trained Verry Elleegant wins

Ruben Hill
October 19, 2020

Australia's premier trainer Chris Waller and jockey Mark Zahra landed their first Caulfield Cup wins when outstanding five-year-old Verry Elleegant held off worldwide raider Anthony Van Dyck.

Waller added: "Mightn't sound a lot to those watching on from home, but I can assure you, Caulfield Cup history suggests mares with 55 (kg) - they don't win very often".

"That's how good she is".

"Going into the Caulfield Cup I thought I might have used all my luck up".

"She's tough", Zahra said after winning the stretch duel.

Zahra settled Verry Elleegant in a midfield position and made his run out wide and before the turn, which was his plan.

But for all his blue blood, Anthony Van Dyck couldn't 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 non-thoroughbred mares to breed riding hacks.

Fittingly, in the post-Winx era, it was another of the great mares campaigned out of his Rosehill Gardens barn that scored in the Caulfield Cup. "With her weight (assignment of at least 121 pounds) obviously it's going to be hard, and she's got to settle and do things right".

"We've got a decision to make there".

After beginning her career in New Zealand for Nick Bishara, Verry Elleegant was transferred to leading trainer Darren Weir in time for the 2018 Australian spring.

"It was fought out by two world class horses with Verry Elleegant strong on the line and safely holding Epsom Derby victor Anthony Van Dyck".

"I thought I had the race at my mercy at the 300 (metres) but all credit to the victor".

In doing so, Verry Elleegant led home a New Zealand one-three finish in one of Australia's greatest races, with Cambridge-trained The Chosen One a courageous third.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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