Verry Elleegant To Skip Arc For Champions Day

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Verry Elleegant | Bronwen Healy

Champion mare Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed {NZ}), who had been under consideration for the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, will instead target the G1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares S. over 12 furlongs at Ascot on Oct. 15.

The 2021 Australian Horse of the Year and 11-time Group 1 winner won the G1 Melbourne Cup in style at Flemington last November, and added the G1 Chipping Norton S. at Randwick two starts later on Feb. 26. She was then second in the G1 Ranvet S. at Rosehill in March and fifth in the G1 Queen Elizabeth S. in heavy going at Randwick on Apr. 9.

“After a really good discussion with the ownership group, it has been decided that Verry Elleegant will have a five-week spell and resume pre-training to be prepared first up, for the Winx S.,” announced trainer Chris Waller on Twitter on Wednesday.

“Whilst running her in the Arc would be a dream come true for all of us, we just felt that it would come around too soon to enable her to have a proper spell and be fully prepared in Australia for the assignment. However, a trip to Europe a little later in the spring is still strongly on the cards providing she returns to the form she showed in the spring when dominating the Melbourne Cup.

“A race that we have identified as a prospective target is the 2400-metre Fillies and Mares Group 1 race on Champions Day at Ascot, one of the most prestigious race days in the world and a worthy stage to showcase her talents.”

Waller added of the mare's early-season targets at home, “It is likely that she will have three runs in Australia in the spring, with the Winx S., the Chelmsford, the Kingston Town and the Underwood all being considered prior to the decision being made on a Melbourne Cup defence or a trip to Europe.”

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