Verry Elleegant Joins Graffard for Euro Campaign

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Verry Elleegant | Bronwen Healy

G1 Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed {NZ}) will join Francis Graffard in France with a view towards targeting the major races in Europe this season, the connections of the Australian ace have announced.

An 11-time Group 1 winner, Verry Elleegant has netted her connections over £8 million and was described by Chris Waller, the man who managed her glittering career in Australia, as an “honour” to be associated with.

The statement from the ownership group was released on Thursday, and it read, “Being part of a champion racehorse is not just an enormous privilege but also a huge responsibility.

“We take this seriously and in the last couple of weeks have given further thought to what constitutes the right plan for our beautiful mare. We know she's a world-class stayer but we expect her to be weighted out of the Cups and there are limited options for her domestically.

“After much deliberation, we came to the realisation that if we want to campaign her in Europe, we need to do it properly and send her to be trained and prepared in the Northern Hemisphere.”

A tilt at the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is understood to be the main reason for sending Verry Elleegant to Graffard this season.

The statement added, “We're incredibly excited about the journey ahead and showcasing her on the world stage. We know win, lose or draw she'll do us, Australia and of course New Zealand proud.”

Graffard shared his excitement of taking over the training of Verry Elleegant on Twitter.

He said, “It is a huge honour to be entrusted with the 2021 Melbourne Cup winner and Champion race mare Verry Elleegant. I am conscious that I will be standing on the shoulders of a giant in taking her on from Chris Waller, who has done such an impeccable job with her.”

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