Saturday August 22 Washup: Verry Strange Day At The Office!

darren weir trained filly verry elleegant
Mon 24th August 2020

It was a mixed bag for punters on Saturday, with Moonee Valley being abandoned after just five races due to wet weather, though there were some standout performances in Sydney to look at, headlined by Verry Elleegant…

Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m)

We may as well look at the feature event first, and what a performance it was from Verry Elleegant. Did a stack of work in the run six wide, burst to the front, was headed by Star Of The Seas, and found something late to get back in front before the post. Massive.

It was the performance of the day, with Imaging, Star Of The Seas, Fierce Impact, and Zebrowski the other big runs for mine.

Master Of Wine eased slightly in the Caulfield Cup market ($13) after that performance, but I think it was passable. It was a brutally run race that didn’t suit him from a race shape perspective, and there was no intent to win this with far loftier targets in mind. Fellow Hawkes stayer Zebrowski was more impressive in the run though, and looks one to keep an eye on this preparation.

The biggest disappointment coming out of the race has to be 10-time Group 1 winner Melody Belle, who has been sent back home to New Zealand.

Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m)

Roheryn won well here, was backed heavily and had the fitness advantage over a lot of these returning stars.

There was a lack of intent from James McDonald on Funstar, who settled last in the run and wide, and worked home well late. She isn’t a 1200m horse and did enough first up, but it will be interesting to see where she goes from here.

Probabeel looked good visually late, though was in the better ground closer to the rail. Special Reward looked like he needed the run, and should be better next start.

Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1200m)

This was a bit of a sick watch for favourite backers, with Adelong ($2.15) being held out for the lead early, forcing Tim Clark to use up too many tickets to take the front spot. Peaked on her run early and was swamped late, with big runs from Sweet Deal, Zaniah, and Seasons.

The race unfolded in the worst possible way for Adelong, and should be forgiven on that run despite the short quote.

Benchmark 88 (1400m)

Kinane is a runner that is worth mentioning, with the talented Waller stayer doing enough first up to finish 1.7L off them, motoring along late. The son of Reliable man takes a while to wind up and needs a sustained run like his big win in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate, and has firmed in the Caulfield Cup Market ($21) after Saturday’s outing.

Watch: Kinane’s win in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate.

Moonee Valley

Not much to touch on here, with the card being abandoned after just five races due to the heavy rain in Melbourne.

You had to be leading to win with the track heavily favouring on-pace horses, so short priced favourite Coming Around ($2.45) can be forgiven. In the same race, Oaks winner Miami Bound worked home well late and can be followed.

Tailleur had no such trouble, with an eye-catching win in her first start in Melbourne.

Watch: Tailleur’s impressive all-the-way victory at the Valley.


An additional race has been added to Saturday’s Memsie Stakes Day at Caulfield, with a 2000m Open Handicap slotted into the card to replace the 2040m Open Handicap that was abandoned at Moonee Valley.

“It was considered the Open Handicap (2000m) was an important race for horses going to the Quality Handicap (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday, 12 September and targeting feature staying races during the Spring Racing Carnival,” said Greg Carpenter, Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager – Racing.

Such horses that were set to line up in that event at the Valley included Orderofthegarter, Schabau, Young Rascal, and Dabiyr.

From Muswellbrook to the Melbourne Cup, Will is mad about all things racing and sport. Spent countless hours in the backyard as a child pretending to be Glenn McGrath, and has been known to get deadly late swing with a taped tennis ball.