Elleegant poised to end George Main hoodoo

The George Main Stakes has been a bogey race for Verry Elleegant (NZ), but Sydney’s pin-up mare gets the perfect chance to right that record at Randwick on Saturday. 

Verry Elleegant finished fourth to Avilius (GB) in the corresponding race two years ago and filled the same placing behind stablemate Kolding (NZ) last year. In fact, her four starts over the Randwick mile have yielded just a single win in the Chipping Norton Stakes in February. 

But counteracting those statistics is her outstanding Group 1 record. Verry Elleegant has managed a top-two finish in 11 of the past 13 majors she has contested and that is the number trainer Chris Waller is focusing on. 

“The simple fact is, her Group One record is superior to most,” Waller said. “She either wins or runs second and she’s got that class factor. Yes, there’s other Group One horses in the race but it’s clear to see they’re not as consistent as her. 

“It looks a lovely race for Verry Elleegant. Her first-up run was terrific and she has trained on nicely since then.” 

Verry Elleegant (NZ) will be looking to enhance her Randwick record, picture Racing Photos

Verry Elleegant will be one of four runners for Waller, joining Kolding, seasoned campaigner Star Of The Seas (NZ) and Hungry Heart. The champion trainer has dominated the George Main Stakes (1600m) for almost as long as he has dominated Sydney racing, capturing seven of the past nine renewals and he again appears to have a stranglehold on the feature. 

Kolding is an $8 chance to defend his title after leading home a Waller first four 12 months ago, when he defeated Star Of The Seas, Imaging and Verry Elleegant. The gelding has strategically been targeted at the race third-up again. 

“He’s got a great record third-up winning big miles,” Waller said. “He’s just that type of horse and he’s drawn to get a lovely run. 

“We’re going into the race with a pretty good hand. They’ve all performed at the highest level and they’re all in their mature years but still racing very well.” 

Waller also confirmed he would decide after Saturday whether Verry Elleegant stayed in Sydney for another run, or headed to Melbourne for the Turnbull Stakes to give Damian Lane a chance to test her before the Cox Plate.