Verry Elleegant, ridden by James McDonald, wins the Ranvet Stakes (Image: Bradley Photographers)
Verry Elleegant showed herself to be truly world-class after winning an extraordinary battle with European star Addeybb in Saturday’s Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.
If the connections of the mare were toying with an idea of taking the mare to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Paris in October, they will now be seriously thinking of it after last spring’s Caulfield Cup winner claimed her eighth Group 1 win against a horse rated as one of the world’s best in 2020.
Verry Elleegant was runner-up to Addeybb last year in both the Ranvet and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes but her performance on Saturday proved she was an even better horse in 2021 according to Flemington trainer Chris Waller.
Waller, who registered Group 1 win number 120 with the victory, was again emotional after the race as he was nearly every time Winx raced. "It’s pretty special to be training these horses," he managed. "She just loves a fight".
She couldn’t run down Addeybb last year, but this time Verry Elleegant ($2.80) was drawing clear on the line to win by a length from Addeybb ($2.10 favourite) after an epic battle up the Rosehill straight.
2019 Australian Derby winner Angel Of Truth ($31) was three quarters of a length away third after trying valiantly to lead throughout.
Jockey James McDonald, who made it 49 Group 1s with the win, said: "I haven’t had that much fun on a racecourse for a very long time. It was so much fun.
"She began like an Oakleigh Plater, I was so pleased with her. She travelled a little bit stronger than I wanted to but the pace was just nice.
"Then when I got off at the 600m I said ‘he’s going to have to be good today’"
"Halfway up (the straight) I could feel her at her top and he was still there and I was thinking, ‘on no, not again’.
"But she’s just a wonderful mare, great determination, fantastic will to win and she knows where that winning line is. She’s just a mighty mare.
"She’s amazing, she just keeps coming back every prep. She seems to get faster every time, in terms of she can win over seven (furlongs) and she can win over a mile and a half.
"She’s a beauty."
Addeybb’s jockey Tom Marquand said: "Delighted with the run. As we kept saying before if we bump into her at her best it’s going to be tough to beat her. He gave his all. This was always going to be a run up to a bigger day and he put his heart and soul into it."