3 minute read
Verry Elleegant ended any debate about Horse of the Year with a career-best effort in the Ranvet Stakes – but she needs to be better again to win the Group 1 $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick next month.
At least this is the opinion of form expert Gary Crispe of Racing and Sports who revealed Verry Elleegant returned a 123 Timeform rating beating Addeybb in the Ranvet last Saturday, equalling her previous best after winning the Tancred Stakes last year.
But Crispe maintains a repeat of her Ranvet effort might not be good enough to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), Sydney's richest race of the autumn carnival run on April 17, Day Two of The Championships.
"Verry Elleegant is in the best form of her career but I think she is going to need a new peak rating to win the Queen Elizabeth Stakes,'' Crispe said.
"Addeybb will improve off his Ranvet run, his first race in nearly six months, and his best Timeform rating was the 129 he went to winning the Champion Stakes at Ascot last October.
"It does set up another tremendous race at Randwick between two of the very best horses in the world right now.''
Addeybb remains the $2.80 TAB Fixed Odds favourite to go back-to-back in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on October 17. Verry Elleegant is next in betting at $3.50 with All-Star Mile winner Mugatoo at $7.
Verry Elleegant was beaten nearly three lengths into second placing by Addeybb in the Queen Elizabeth last year but there is a significant change to her race program this autumn that is designed to ensure she is at her absolute best for the rematch in three weeks.
Trainer Chris Waller didn't even bother to nominate Verry Elleegant for the Group 1 $1.5 million Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, a race she won so emphatically last year before being comfortably swept aside by Addeybb at Randwick.
Waller revealed his plans for Verry Elleegant immediately after the mare's Ranvet Stakes win when he said: "We want to go three weeks into the Queen Elizabeth and have a fair crack at it.''
So, Verry Elleegant will be going to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on "fresh legs" and try to claim a sixth Group 1 win for the 2020/21 racing season.
Surely, the Waller wonder mare has already secured Horse of the Year honours with her five big race wins during the season.
Verry Elleegant has demonstrated her versatility with wins from 1400m to 2400m, at weight-for-age and handicap conditions, in the Winx Stakes, Turnbull Stakes, Caulfield Cup, Chipping Norton Stakes and Ranvet Stakes.
Her main Horse of the Year contenders have managed two wins at Group 1 level so far this season – Arcadia Queen, Montefilia, Ole Kirk, Behemoth and Probabeel.
Arcadia Queen, winner of the Caulfield Stakes and Mackinnon Stakes this season, has probably forfeited any chance of snatching the Horse of the Year from Verry Elleegant with the decision not to set the outstanding Perth mare for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Bob Peters, the owner of Arcadia Queen, believes the mare hasn't had the grounding for a tough 2000m at the highest level after she missed two vital lead-up races in Melbourne.
Instead, Arcadia Queen will line up in the Group 2 $200,000 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday before the Group 1 $1 million Coolmore Legacy Stakes (1600m) on the same day as the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Online article taken from the racenet.