Verry Elleegant winning the Melbourne Cup 02 November 2021. Photo / Bruno Cannatelli
Adecision regarding what’s next for champion Kiwi mare Verry Elleegant won’t be made until the ownership group has done a post-mortem after her unplaced run in France at the weekend.
Managing owner Brae Sokolski said he needed to speak to trainer Francis-Henri Graffard and the ownership group and then make a decision on her future.
“We just need to sit down and reassess and discuss where we’re at and make a decision as to where we go from here,” Sokolski told racing.com.
He said the Group 1 British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes (2400m) at Ascot on October 15 was “very much a live option” but they needed to see how she pulled up.
Sokolski said Verry Elleegant would not be going to stud in the Northern Hemisphere.
The frustrated owner said “it feels like the gods are against us at the moment” with Verry Elleegant’s Northern Hemisphere’s campaign after her seventh in the Group 1 Prix de Royallieu at Longchamp on Sunday.
“It was there for everyone to see, she just had no luck once again,” he said. “She got strung up on the rail off a slow tempo. It was a trainwreck scenario for her and it wasn’t Mark’s [Zahra] fault — it was circumstantial, and it just meant once again we didn’t get a chance.”
“It looked plain to the eye but there were mitigating factors and Francis was very frustrated with what transpired.”
Verry Elleegant missed the Arc which was won by another mare, the grey English raider Alpinista, who made light work of the rain and heavy ground to narrowly win the great race on Monday morning (NZ time).
Jockey Luke Morris attacked heading into the last furlong and the 5-year-old mare just held off a late charge from Belgian jockey Christophe Soumillon on French star Vadeni and last year’s 80-1 winner Torquator Tasso, ridden by veteran Italian jockey Frankie Dettori.
“I had a beautiful draw in stall six and after being perfectly placed, there was a second when I thought we were getting drawn into it too early,” Morris said. “But once she had taken charge, I was able to sit on her from 100 metres out.”
Morris felt the conditions would have made it harder for Alpinista to attack the way she did.
“I was concerned when the rain came but the race went very smoothly. I couldn’t believe it in a 20-runner Arc. It was incredible.”
Alpinista was among the pre-race favourites.
“If it hadn’t been my horse, I would have thought it was going to win every inch of the way, but when it’s your own of course it’s a nightmare,” Alpinista’s champion trainer Sir Mark Prescott said.
“I didn’t think all that rain would help, but she’s never travelled better and has come on with each race.”
It was not yet clear if Alpinista will next race at the Breeders’ Cup or the Japan Cup next month.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 4:27 pm | Back to: Top News Updated: June 1, 2023 at 4:59 pm Governor Roy Cooper | Getty Images By Bill Finley Tar Heel Downs anyone
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