There will be no over-reaction from trainer Chris Waller to correct the unorthodox racing style of classy filly Verry Elleegant, but he is looking at the addition of ear muffs for Saturday’s Gr. 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.
The Kiwi import currently races in a nose roll and, as she showed in winning the Gr.2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at her Sydney debut, she carries her head high.
That might be just a quirk of the horse but Waller is concerned about ensuring the filly settles better with the step up to 2000m on Saturday.
“It seems to be effective, I guess you could say Northerly had a different racing style as well,’’ Waller told Racing NSW.
“The more you try to change them, often it can bring you undone.
“But we will be putting some ear muffs on just to try to get her to relax a bit. That’s the only thing I want to do, get her to switch off a touch.’’
Verry Elleegant will be one of between two and four runners for Waller in the Vinery, one of the three Rosehill Group One races the champion trainer has never won, with the Golden Slipper (1200m) and Coolmore Classic (1600m) the other trophies missing from the cabinet.
He also has fellow New Zealand-breds Zalatte and Romani Girl nominated for the 2000m fillies feature, in addition to Welsh Legend.
Waller said Verry Elleegant has pleased him since her impressive win in the Phar Lap where she was the only horse in the race to break 36 seconds for the last 600m, running 35.75.
“She was unlucky not to win at her first start for the stable and that was behind a good horse (Amphitrite),’’ he said.
“She certainly gets her Group One chance on Saturday.
“She is a horse that doesn’t need a lot of hard work, it’s just more maintenance now.’’
The daughter of Zed began her career in New Zealand with trainer Nick Bishara, for whom she won two of her three starts.
Bishara and the original New Zealand owners still have a 25 percent ownership interest in Verry Elleegant, while fellow Kiwis John and Mark Carter, and their sister Rachel, who race under Jomara Bloodstock also have a 25 percent interest.
Zalatte could only manage seventh behind the stablemate, and she wasn’t herself in the parade and heading onto the track.
Waller said the filly is in good order now and believes she needs firmer footing than the heavy10 she struck on March 16.
“It was just the very wet track, I would expect her to bounce back on a better track,’’ he said.
“She definitely struggled in the conditions.’’
Romani Girl and Welsh Legend are more likely to take a softer approach to the Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 13 by contesting next week’s Gr.3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m).
Rosehill is currently a heavy8 after 132mm of rain in the past week. – NZ Racing Desk