First Caulfield Cup for Waller as Verry Elleegant defeats Anthony Van Dyck
Chris Waller's wait for a first Caulfield Cup came to an end on Saturday as Verry Elleegant powered to victory, defeating the Aidan O'Brien-trained Anthony Van Dyck.
Verry Elleegant has established herself as a top-class mare this year, and under a fine ride from Mark Zahra, she secured a fourth Group 1 success for 2020.
Jo Taylor, representing the winning trainer, told Racing.com: "Well done to everybody involved. She's kept maturing with age and you'd imagine she'd continue to do that.
"Hopefully this year we will head on to the Melbourne Cup, she's a phenomenal endurance athlete. Mark kept her out of trouble."
Verry Elleegant is now a top-priced 10-1 for the Lexus Melbourne Cup, though she was slashed to 7-1 (from 16) by Betfred. Anthony Van Dyck is a general 8-1 shot, with stablemate Tiger Moth the 5-1 favourite.
Last year's Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck had a wide draw in stall 21 to overcome, but the O'Brien-trained four-year-old ran a fine race under Hugh Bowman.
"We had a beautiful run in transit and I got going when it suited me. I thought I had the race at my mercy at the 300 (metres) but all credit to the winner," Bowman said. "She's so tough."
There was also another excellent run in Australia by Prince Of Arran, who stayed on well to take fourth.
I can’t really make up my mind how to feel about that race. Part of me can’t help but think what might have been, the other part thinks we have just run the best possible prep-race for the Melbourne Cup. All I do know is Prince of Arran is the most incredible horse— Charlie Fellowes (@FellowesRacing) October 17, 2020
Trained by Charlie Fellowes, Prince Of Arran has placed third and second in the last two renewals of the Melbourne Cup, and warmed up for another crack at the race with a strong run.
One runner who will not be contesting next month's Melbourne Cup for O'Brien is Irish Derby winner Santiago. Connections have elected to give the three-year-old a short break.
For complete coverage of racing and bloodstock in Australia and New Zealand, download ANZ Bloodstock News every day http://www.anzbloodstocknews.com/issue