A brother to exciting Kiwi filly Verry Elleegant was welcomed into the world just hours after his three-year-old sister stamped herself as a leading contender for the Gr.1 VRC Oaks (2500m).
Verry Elleegant, a daughter of Zed, has firmed into favouritism with bookmakers for the Flemington feature on November 8 after a desperately unlucky Australian debut in the Gr.2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) last Saturday.
Having her first start from the stable of Victoria’s champion trainer Darren Weir, Verry Elleegant charged home for third behind her stablemates Amphitrite and Krone in the Flemington event after having to bulldoze her way through a gap inside the final 200 metres.
“It was like watching a rugby match,” her part-owner and former trainer Nick Bishara said.
“You had to hold your breath to see if she would get a run and when she did she really flew.
“It’s a pity she didn’t win, but still it was a top run and it showed she is up to the class over there.”
Don Goodwin, who bred and still part-owns Verry Elleegant, was hardly over the excitement of the filly’s breath-taking finish than he received news of the arrival of her little brother five hours later.
“Her dam, Opulence, dropped a colt foal at 1am on Sunday morning,” Bishara said. “Don is putting her back to Zed again this year and he’s hoping to get another filly.”
Opulence has now produced five foals with the three to race all being winners from Bishara’s stable, while her fourth foal, a colt by Haradasun named Grand Prospect, is a two-year-old with Foxton trainer Sue Walsh, having been bought for $10,000 from Book 3 at last February’s National Yearling Sales at Karaka.
Verry Elleegant was sold after her Matamata win last month with the original owners retaining 25 percent, while New Zealand based Jomara Bloodstock, in addition to clients of Darren Weir’s stable purchased the balance.
“The deal was too good to turn down and it looks like we’re all going to have a lot of fun with her.
“It’s amazing how things work out. A year ago you couldn’t give her away.”
Bishara has had positive reports from the Weir stable since Verry Elleegant arrived in Victoria.
“She’s adapted well over there and it was good to see her go so well,” Bishara said.
“She’s quite a light filly, but she’s tough and has got so much raw talent. She’s only had four starts and she’s starting to get the ring craft.”
Possible targets for Verry Elleegant on route to the VRC Oaks include the Gr.3 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) and the Gr.2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m).
“I’ve got to find my passport and make sure it’s still valid,” Bishara said.
“If she gets to the Oaks I want to be there. You don’t let opportunities like that go by. I’ll never get another one.”
Meanwhile, Bishara is set to start work again on Verry Elleegant’s four-year-old brother Verry Flash.
“He’s back in this week and I’ll be aiming him at the Auckland Cup (Gr.1, 3200m) in March,” Bishara said.
“I’ve stated all along he’ll handle good ground.”
Verry Flash has yet to be tried beyond 1600m, the distance of each of his four wins, with three on heavy tracks and the other on a slow9 surface. – NZ Racing Desk