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Proud Waller claims Winx trophy with another Elleegant mare - Paul Vettise TDN AusNZ

Waller launched a four-pronged attack on Saturday’s G1 Winx S. at Randwick and in a driving finish it was Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed {NZ}) who edged out her stablemate Star Of The Seas (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}) for the champion trainer.

Winx triumphed in three editions of the event – traditionally known as the Warwick S. – and on many occasions understandably reduced him to tears during her memorable career.

“Those days are pretty well gone, she took all the emotion out of me and it is an honour to win the race,” Waller said. “This horse has come back very well and you’ve seen that today, she had to do a lot of work through the run and she was still strong late.”

Image courtesy of Martin King

Verry Elleegant drifted a fair way back in the early stages before she began to circle runners for rider James McDonald, but at the expense of covering a significant amount of extra ground wide out on the track.

It wasn’t a trip to be undertaken by the feint-hearted and the 5-year-old showed she was made of the sternest stuff and had the temerity to fight back after being headed in the straight to reign supreme.

Versatility highlighted

It was also a performance that was testament to her versatility and the conditioning skills of Waller to have her primed to win first-up in quality company at 1400 metres with longer targets firmly in mind.

“How we get her to win every start this preparation I don’t know as I want to get her to win her grand finals as well, whether it’s a Cox Plate or a Melbourne Cup. They’ve got a good ring to them and we’ve got the right horse to do it,” - Chris Waller

Verry Elleegant hasn’t always been the easiest horse to handle with her talent never doubted, but sometimes her erratic racing manners have clouded her ability.

“It’s been a great team effort with obviously James on race day and my team back home. A lot of riders help day in and day out and it’s not easy,” Waller said.

“I’m privileged to be working with some of the best horsemen in the world.”

McDonald has now ridden 47 Group 1 winners, but he’s never been associated with one as resilient as Verry Elleegant.

“She’s an absolute star and has progressed so much in the last six months. She would have to be the toughest mare I have ever had anything to do with,” - James McDonald

“Her work has been fantastic and her trial was superb. We gave her two trials last time, but didn’t want to take the brilliance out of her this time and she’s come back in great order.


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