Verry Elleegant will be served by champion European stallion Sea The Stars to northern hemisphere time next year.
Brae Sokolski, a part-owner of Verry Elleegant, told Racing Confidential the final decision has been made and the mare will visit Sea The Stars at the Aga Khan’s Gilltown Stud in Ireland as early as February.
Former Horse of the Year Verry Elleegant, a winner of 11 Group 1 races including the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Tancred Stakes and ATC Australian Oaks for nearly $15 million prizemoney, was retired after struggling to find her best form in four starts in France and England this year.
Sea The Stars, a freakish racehorse who won eight of his nine starts including the Epsom Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2009, has made a name for himself at stud as the sire of English superstar Baaed and champion stayer Stradivarius.
Sokolski said Verry Elleegant’s first yearling will remain in Europe to race while the mare will then be bred to southern hemisphere time and return to Australia in-foal in 2024.
Meanwhile, Sokolski may have unearthed another very talented sprinter after Passeggiata blew her rivals away on debut at Gosford on Thursday.
Arrowfield’s super sire Snitzel is having a sensational start to the season, particularly with his two-year-olds.
Royal Entrance became the latest juvenile winner for Snitzel when he won on debut at Warwick Farm midweek.
Snitzel has sired five winners from eight two-year-olds runners in Australia and New Zealand this season including debut winners Empire Of Japan (Breeders Plate) and Serasana (Sandown).
In fact, more than half of Snitzel’s two-year-olds winners since August, 2020, have won at their first starts. Godolphin trainer James Cummings unleashes the Snitzel colt, Amur, for his debut in the two-year-old race at The Valley on Saturday while Empire Of Japan is out to maintain his unbeaten record in the Royal Randwick opener on Christmas Eve.
Jenny Duggan’s heart-warming comeback to race riding after a serious neck injury gathered further momentum when she rode a winner at Scone earlier this week.
But the apprentice’s win on the Jeremy Gask-trained Behind The Storm had to be seen to be believed.
Behind The Storm, a well-bred mare by Astern out of Avoid Lightning, was very slow into stride and was some four or five lengths off the second last horse for most of the race before powering home down the centre of the course for an exciting win.
Duggan, who won on $61 outsider Our Bellagio Miss at Randwick last Saturday, is riding at Wyong on Christmas Eve but is back to Royal Randwick on Boxing Day where she has five rides including Parry Sound in the Group 3 $200,000 Summer Cup (2000m)
The Paul Perry-trained Sky Lab has opened as the $4.80 favourite for the Summer Cup after three luckless runs this spring.
The Summer Cup has attracted a final field of 14 on Boxing Day with trainer John O’Shea saddling up three of the top four in the weights including number one saddlecloth bearer Lion’s Roar, Berdibek and Diamil.
Originally published as Verry Elleegant booked to visit champion sire Sea The Stars in New Year
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