McDonald seeks redemption for Elleegant
Jockey James McDonald admits that he has played back last year’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes over and over in his head but hopes that he can vanquish those demons when Verry Elleegant (Zed) aims to take the prize at her third attempt tomorrow.
The Chris Waller-trained mare won on this day in 2019, taking the Australian Oaks comfortably, but she has finished second to English raider Addeybb (Pivotal) in the last two runnings of the Queen Elizabeth. “She should have won the last one, it wasn’t one of my best steers but she ran unbelievably well,’’ McDonald told Racing NSW.
“It’s a great field, one of the best Queen Elizabeths I’ve seen, and she will definitely be there when the whips are cracking so to speak. She’s a top-class horse and, don’t worry, she won’t let us down.”
Verry Elleegant won the Chipping Norton Stakes two starts back before finishing a two-length second to tomorrow’s rival Montelia (Kermadec) in the Ranvet Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) last time out. “She didn’t run badly, she ran second to a proper horse and it was a semi-final for this race so she has improvement in her,’’ he said.
“She’s in great hands, her trainer will have her primed and ready to go. A real wet track won’t be a deterrent to us, she’s just a warrior. She’s very much like Nature Strip, she’s a grand final performer.”