New Zealand-bred Verry Elleegant (NZ) Sparkles in NZB EtherealSaturday, Oct 20, 2018
Saturday’s A$150,000 Group 3 New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes (2000m) was won in impressive style by Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed), who was bred, part-owned and formerly trained in New Zealand.
The talented bay began her career in the Ardmore stable of Nick Bishara, who also shared ownership with a syndicate that included the filly’s breeder Don Goodwin.
After two spectacular wins from three New Zealand starts, a majority share was sold to clients of champion Victorian trainer Darren Weir. She was an unlucky third on her Australian debut in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington, and on Saturday she showed her true colours.
Verry Elleegant raced fiercely in the early stages of the 2000-metre race, but rider John Allen settled her into a smooth position in midfield.
Allen angled her out into clear space and released the brakes in the straight, and Verry Elleegant stretched out superbly to run down Aristia (Lonhro) and score by half a length. Sizzleme (Sizzling) was third.
“She was a little bit keen early, but she switched off after a couple of furlongs,” Allen said. “She’s still very raw and green – she was really looking around in the straight. But in the last 50 yards she really put them away, and it took me a while to pull her up.
“She’s not very big, but she’s got a big engine!”
Verry Elleegant has now had five starts for three wins and two placings, earning A$123,969 for her big group of owners. She is among the leading contenders for next month’s Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) at Flemingon.
Verry Elleegant is the 10th individual stakes winner for her sire, Zed (NZ) (Zabeel), who stands at Grangewilliam Stud in Wanganui.
A Haradasun half-brother to Verry Elleegant was sold for $10,000 at Karaka Book 3 earlier this year. The dam, Opulence, returned to Zed this spring.