Verry Elleegant made a pleasing start to her spring preparation when finishing fourth in her 900m trial at Randwick on Tuesday.
Her owners from both sides of the Tasman were watching with bated breath but were thrilled with her effortless first hit-out.
“I am very satisfied with that. If you go through historically, she is always ridden very quiet and they (first trials) are really just a pipe-opener,” part-owner Brae Sokolski told RSN927.
“That was very typical Verry Elleegant style. She worked strongly through the line. That will blow the cobwebs out and she will have a stronger trial next time.”
The eight-time Group One winner is being set some lofty targets, with her connections receiving positive reports from trainer Chris Waller ahead of the spring.
“Every preparation you are just hoping she comes back equal, if not superior, as she has been doing time in and time out,” Sokolski said.
“She is a (rising) six-year-old mare, but the feedback from Chris suggests that she has come back in supreme order.
“She seems more settled and more mature, both physically and mentally.
“We have got very high expectations this preparation.”
Waller is eyeing the Gr.1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 21 as her launching point for the spring, with two further Sydney targets likely before she heads to Melbourne for the Cox Plate (Gr.1, 2040m).
“She will go the traditional Winx path towards the Cox Plate – Winx Stakes into the George Main (Gr.1, 1600m), and then it will either be the Turnbull (A$750,000 Gr.1, 2000m) or the Hill Stakes (A$1 million Gr.2, 2000m) - the increase in prizemoney and ability to stay at home is very appealing.
“She will then likely go to the Cox Plate, and then we will make the decision post Cox Plate of whether we forge ahead to the Melbourne Cup (Gr.1, 3200m).”
Verry Elleegant was initially trained in New Zealand by part-owner Nicholas Bishara for whom she won two of her three starts, and placed in the other.