Original owners to sell Elleegant share
The breeder and original owners of Verry Elleegant are to sell their 20 per cent share in the champion mare following confirmation she is to be transferred to France to be prepared for a European campaign.
“We’re not happy and we will be looking to sell out of the mare unfortunately,” co-owner Nick Bishara said on Friday morning.
“The Ellee syndicate was never in favour of going to Europe, basically on the back of what Chris (Waller) felt – that she’s probably got one more prep in her and to go half way around the world might be a risk if she doesn’t come up.
“The 80 per cent of the syndicate wanted to go but the 20 per cent (Ellee) of the syndicate didn’t want to go.
“Don (Goodwin) bred her and we originally had her. We wanted to put the horse first. Chris Waller is a Hall Of Fame trainer and we were happy to go with what he thought.”
Waller confirmed on Thursday night that Verry Elleegant would be transferred to French trainer Francis-Henri Graffard for her northern hemisphere campaign, which could take in races in France and England over September, October and November.
Bishara said the 20 per cent of the mare owned by the Ellee syndicate would be offered first to the current owners of Verry Elleegant.
Bishara said he and Goodwin had always considered such a trip a major risk.
“She’s not a great traveller,” he said. “Even from Sydney to Melbourne she’s not fantastic so we just think the risk is too much.
“We are disappointed but also grateful for such a wonderful ride with a lot of people associated with her and of course, the Waller team who have done a fantastic job.
“Chris always puts his horses first and we’ve always been guided by him and I would have left everything in his hands but that’s not the way it’s turned out.”
Bishara said that while it would be sad to farewell the 11-time group 1 winner, he still had plenty to look forward to with other close members of the Verry Elleegant family.
“We’re pretty much in a lucky position,” he said. “My mate and I own Verry Elleegant’s half-sister Black Lace (by Towkay).
“She’s had a foal last spring to Zed so we have a three-quarter in blood sister to Verry Elleegant sitting on the ground at Arrowfield (Stud), and she’s currently in foal to Dundeel.
“So ultimately there is not a lot of down-side for us. If she goes to Europe and performs, terrific but if not, we have a nice chunk of the family to go ahead with.”