These are some – actually, probably – THE very best horses in Australia and they put on an absolute spectacle in the $600,000 Gr 1 Chipping Norton at Randwick over a mile.
It was perhaps the most exciting race and finish we’ve seen in Australia for years.
Five of them across the track from the 200m home all straining every muscle and sinew to do what they riders wanted, and there was half a length between them all on the line.
The mares, the two superstars of Australian racing VERRY ELLEEGANT (Zed – Opulence) and COLETTE (Hallowed Crown – Libretto) ran first and 2nd at the finish, with the old boy AVILIUS (Pivotal – Alessandria) flashing home for 3rd.
That trio ran astonishingly well.
Commendations to Funstar who was 4th, and Kolding who led and was 5th.
During the call, Darren Flindell described Verry Elleegant as the great mare. That was while she was travelling behind little Colette to the bend. He didn’t know just how accurate he was going to be because what she produced, especially in the last 100m was – greatness!
“I thought Colette had us cold when she sprinted at the 300m and then I saw Avilius coming from the back,” said her trainer Chris Waller.
“And she was sandwiched between them. But, she is so tough and we saw her fighting qualities today.
“This is the best I’ve ever seen her and she just keeps improving.
“They really don’t get much better than her.”
Certainly her record now of 13 wins from 28 starts and a whopping $7,750,000 in prize money would support that.
“I think I will aim her at the Gr 1 Ranvet Stakes in a few week’s time, then back her up again a week later in the Gr 1 Tancred Stakes like she did last year which she won, with the Gr 1 Queen Elizabeth as her main goal.
“But, I’m not looking forward to clashing with Addeyybb who beat her in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes last year. He is a world class racehorse and he went on to frank her form too after that in big races across the world.”
Colette was so game.
She went down by a head after racing in an unfamiliar role up on pace all the way.
At the 300m she drew to the front and while everyone was throwing everything including the kitchen sink at her, that little head of hers stayed in front.
With 50m to go she was still in the lead but the gritty last moment thrust by a bonafide superstar in Verry Elleegant nailed her. It was just her 2nd run this time up and she will take enormous benefit from it.
Avilius was one of the talking points also.
He came from last and at the 250m he looked long odds on to sweep past them and win.
But these mares, these incredibly tough, superstar mares held him out.
If they were boxers, they’s be world champions such is the fighting quality each possesses.
Do yourself a favour and watch this race. It was an absolute thriller.