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A Verry heated rivalry

3 minute read

Verry Elleegant and Avilius resume their keen rivalry in the Group 1 $500,000 Fujitsu George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

The outstanding duo have clashed six times previously with the scorecard reading 3-3.

But Verry Elleegant is gaining the ascendancy, having beaten Avilius to the line at their past three meetings and form guru Gary Crispe believes the mare will continue to assert her dominance.

Racing And Sports Crispe said on Timeform ratings, the Chris Waller-trained Verry Elleegant edges Avilius.

"When factoring in the mares' allowance, Verry Elleegant's peak Timeform rating is 127 whereas Avilius is rated 125,'' Crispe said.

"She has the slight edge and has drawn to settle ahead of the latter, which could be the deciding factor in the clash.

"A firm track isn't her preferred ground, but she should be better suited out to the mile.

"Last autumn, Verry Elleegant was second-up when she was narrowly beaten by Te Akau Shark in the Chipping Norton Stakes over the Randwick 1600m. It's worth noting Fierce Impact finished third and Avilius was fourth.

"Verry Elleegant has been a model of consistency since and while only a narrow winner first-up in the Winx Stakes, she did a great job considering she was well short of her best as her winning Timeform rating of 114 suggests.

"I expect her to show improvement second-up and although she is on a Cups path and is still a long way from her 'Grand Final', she brings the best form to the George Main Stakes and should prove hard to beat.''

Avilius is attempting to win a second successive George Main Stakes after he started favourite and won the race impressively last year with Verry Elleegant finishing fourth.

"In her eight starts since, Verry Elleegant has won three and finished second on three occasions,'' Crispe said.

"Avilius has only placed twice, which came at the back end of his last preparation.

"Verry Elleegant has been much the better-performed and hence no surprise to see the market flipped in her favour on Saturday."

Crispe also has a healthy respect for Verry Elleegant's stablemates, Imaging and Star Of The Seas.

"They lack the class of the top two, but look to be trending the right way and in the small field they shouldn't be far away,'' Crispe said.

"Dreamforce could cause an upset. The George Ryder Stakes winner showed improvement under Nash Rawiller to win last start and looks to lead from the inside draw."

Article taken from Daily Telegraph, published Friday 18th September 2020, Author, Ray Thomas, Page 63.

Daily Telegraph, published Friday 18th September 2020, Author, Ray Thomas, Page 63.
Daily Telegraph, published Friday 18th September 2020, Author, Ray Thomas, Page 63.

Racing and Sports