Arc Attempt On For Verry Elleegant

Chris Waller has confirmed he intends travelling at least three horses to Europe in 2022, with Melbourne Cup hero Verry Elleegant firmly in line for that shot at one of the world’s most famous races, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris next September.

Speaking with Nick Luck on his UK Racing TV show Luck On Sunday, Waller said Verry Elleegant had come through her Melbourne Cup performance in great shape, which has set the platform for her to travel to the UK along with stablemates Nature Strip and three-year-old Home Affairs.

“Yes, it certainly is,” Waller replied when asked whether the Arc was still a consideration next year. “The owners raised the idea last year and I wasn’t quite as keen, but I think now is a good time to do it.

“The beauty of Verry Elleegant is that she is adaptable over all distances. She’s won a Group 1 race over 1400 metres through to 3200 metres now and she’s won in all conditions.

“A very firm surface is no problem and a very wet surface, she is almost as effective. To me that is the right type of horse to travel.

“She’s a very clean-winded horse who doesn’t need a lot of work. She can do her work here in Australia and pick out two or three races over there.”

Waller said he understands the task in front of his 10-time G1 winner.

“The owners have their hearts set on the Arc, which is obviously a very, very hard race to win,” he said.

“We wouldn’t come expecting to win the Arc. It’s just great racing and to be part of it is one thing and to have a horse good enough to be winning that many Group 1 races here in Australia, obviously she is at the level required needed to be at least competitive, of course respecting what we will be taking on.”

Waller said he decided the challenge of winning four Cox Plates was a worthy reason to keep Winx racing at home for her entire career but that Verry Elleegant was not constrained by having a winning run to protect.

While not yet certain whether Verry Elleegant may kick-off in England next winter on her way to France, Waller said her Australia preparation would include four starts and end with the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in April.

“She will start racing in mid-February and her last race in her preparation will be her fourth race and that will be about the 10th of April. We’ll have that time to prepare to bring her across and work out whether we come out early or late and probably late being a mare with seasonal challenges and all.”

Waller told the program that Verry Elleegant is not the only horse earmarked for a European trip from his stable next year, with confirmation also that Nature Strip and Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Home Affairs, who Waller called ‘a rocket’, will target Royal Ascot.

“I’ve got a really good sprinter called Nature Strip and a very exciting colt called Home Affairs, so we might not just bring one. We might make it worthwhile,” he said.

– racing.com

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