A relieved Chris Waller now has the confidence to head to Melbourne with Verry Elleegant following her return to the winner’s stall in the Group 2 $500,000 Sky Racing Active Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick today.
Verry Elleegant was the star staying filly of the 2019 Sydney Autumn Carnival with wins in the Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and in the Group 1 $1m Australian Oaks (2400m).
Waller will now decide if Verry Elleegant steps back up to 2400m of the Group 1 $5.15m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup at Caulfield on October 19 or stays around the 2000m mark and heads towards the Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 26.
“I think we know where she is at. Just need to work out a race for her. I won’t want to jump in today. It will be the Cox Plate or the Caulfield Cup,” Waller said.
“We went back to the basics that is why she was back last. It was good to see she was settling a lot better. We’ll see what James said post race. Have a look at the sectional times – while she only won by small margin you consider where she has come from but the sectional time experts will tell us.”
The win of Verry Elleegant gave Waller and James McDonald four wins from the first six races and included a Group 1 win with Funstar in the $500,000 Darley Flight Stakes (1600m).
McDonald settled Verry Elleegant ($2.40 favourite) well off the pace set by Samadoubt ($5.50) with only one runner behind him, the stablemate Younstar ($10).
Tommy Berry controlled the race out in front on Samadoubt and held that spot until the last stride when McDonald was able to lift Verry Elleegant across the line to get the judge’s decision by a nose.
The winner’s stablemate Life Less Ordinary ($7.50) was in the firing line for the majority of the race and battled on for third.