Next NSW Race

Latest News

McDonald's Verry Keen On Mare's Spring Prospects

By Ray Hickson

“I think she can’’.

Jockey James McDonald (Pic: Steve Hart)

Those four words from premier jockey James McDonald are a vote of confidence in Australian Oaks winner Verry Elleegant’s prospects of being a major player in the spring.

It’s a comment most would expect McDonald to make but his reasoning is that trainer Chris Waller’s work with her this year has transformed her from a raw talent whose racing antics were problematic into a more rounded competitor.

We’ll see the first evidence of that in her second preparation with Waller when she returns in a strong renewal of the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

McDonald realises the transition into open company for the previous season’s top three-year-olds isn’t always an easy one.

“She still has to improve, don’t get me wrong, but she did everything right in the autumn and she just has to improve a little bit more and she will be competitive in some big races,’’ he said.

“Seven furlongs might be a bit short, she’s definitely a staying type of mare and will improve a lot out of her first-up performance.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing her back.’’

Verry Elleegant is a $4 chance with TAB in the Winx Stakes and her only defeat under Waller’s care came first-up in the autumn at 1400m.

McDonald said her two trials this time in have been perfect though he hasn’t asked her for anything serious.

He suspects she could be a little vulnerable first-up but at the same time says she feels like she’s ready to explode.

“She’s a box of birds at the moment. She’s buzzing around there, in fine fettle,’’ he said.

“She’ll settle in her races for sure, her work and trials suggest that. I can’t wait to get out there.’’

Chris Waller has said the mare will have a 'Winx 2015' spring preparation which means she'll be sparingly raced with the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) her likely Sydney spring goal. She's currently $8 in TAB's early Epsom market.

Verry Elleegant is one of four runners for the Waller stable in the Winx Stakes, the others being Group 1 winners Unforgotten and Youngstar and comeback galloper Kings Will Dream who hasn’t raced since failing to finish in Winx’s last Cox Plate.

Verry Elleegant's latest trial at Rosehill on August 6

After taking Youngstar for a spin during last Saturday’s exhibition gallops, where Unforgotten and Kings Will Dream also had public hitouts, jockey Tommy Berry expects the five-year-old to produce a typical stayer’s first-up run.

“She’s going to have to go back and give some good horses a start over a distance that doesn’t suit,’’ he said.

“I reckon she will run well, she definitely won’t disgrace herself, I couldn’t see her running in the first three but she will be getting home late.’’

Youngstar is the outsider of the Waller quartet at $34 with TAB, Unforgotten is an $11 chance and Kings Will Dream at $12.

All the fields, form and replays for Saturday's Winx Stakes meeting at Royal Randwick

The Latest Racing News

Late Plating Change - Bedtime Stories (Hawkesbury, Weds)

Please note the following plating change for Hawkesbury on Wednesday: Race 8, No.14 (2nd em) – BEDTIME STORIES: Has had ...
Read More

Game Of Thorns Running In Provincial Championships Final

Barossa Rosa, the second-placed horse in Gosford's Polytrack Provincial Championships Qualifier, will not contest the Final and has been scratched ...
Read More

Hawkesbury Winners - Tips For Wednesday 14th April

By Ray Hickson Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s Hawkesbury meeting. Selections based on a ...
Read More

Richards Out To Restore Kiwi Pride With Amarelinha

By Ray Hickson If there’s one small doubt in champion New Zealand trainer Jamie Richards’ mind about his star filly ...
Read More

Godolphin Joins The TAB Everest for Three Years

Racing NSW and Godolphin today announced that Godolphin has taken a slot in The TAB Everest for a further three ...
Read More
Racing NSW Apps
Mobile Version
Industry Links