Chris Waller outlines plans for Verry Elleegant

Melbourne racing fans may have seen the last of champion mare Verry Elleegant with Chris Waller confirming that the six-year-old would by-pass the All-Star Mile.

The reigning Melbourne Cup heroine received more votes than other runner in the $5 million event, to be run at Flemington on March 19, but Waller said she would run in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on the same day.

“There is a chance that her next two runs could be her last in Australia if we are to take her overseas,” Waller said.

“I don’t want to pre-empt anything but I want to place her carefully to ensure she is running at her optimum ability and following a path that that has been successful in the past seems the logical route to take.

“It has always been our intention to run in the Ranvet whilst still keeping options open so we will stick to that plan and appreciate your understanding.

“Following on from the Ranvet she will most likely run in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes before deciding on a possible trip to Europe or another Spring campaign in Australia. The owners will discuss this when the time comes.”

Verry Elleegant, who also won the 2020 Caulfield Cup in Melbourne, won last year’s Ranvet Stakes from Addeybb, reversing the result from the previous year.

This year’s Ranvet will be her first start since logging an 11th Group 1 success in the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) on February 26.

Her withdrawal was announced via a statement that also indicated Espiona would be absent from Flemington when the All-Star Mile is run.

“Espiona I feel is still 12 months away, but we are humbled that she has been given a lot of public support,” Waller said.

“I will make it my mission to have her running in these types of races over the next few years and I think looking after her now is the key.”

Espiona has been beaten as a short-priced favourite at her only two runs this campaign, finishing second in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) before a third placing in the Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m).

With Verry Elleegant and Espiona out of the All-Star Mile, Tofane and Icebath – who were the first and second emergencies – secure a place in the field.

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