A fantastic Kiwi victory in the Melbourne Cup

By: Blogger

Sideline Sid
Sports correspondent & historian

In the tradition of old-time newspapers, the call Stop Press where breaking news was added to the papers early editions, could be applied to Sideline Sid's contribution this week.

As usual, Sid scribed his usual draft SunLive contribution on Tuesday morning before scheduling his final copy for next morning.

However, a fantastic Kiwi victory in the Melbourne Cup saw his original copy put on hold - so the joy of the Veery Ellegant win at Flemington racecourse could be shared with the Sun Live readers.

While champagne was the order of the day for the New Zealand connections, the Veery Ellegant story has some humble beginnings.

The horses sire, Zed, was bred in the purple by champion New Zealand sire Zabeel and sold as a yearling for $400,000.

The one-time NZ Derby favourite broke down before going to stud in the Wairarapa.

Limited early success of his progeny, saw the young stallion consigned to the wilderness of the South Island high country, where he served mainly Clydesdales and a handful of thoroughbred mares.

Like a good wine, Zed needed time, with his offspring showing genuine staying performances as they matured. A reprieve to Grangewilliam Stud outside Wanganui saw the Veery Ellegant story begin.

As a young horse, the 2021 Melbourne Cup winner showed immediate promise from the start, winning two of its first three starts in New Zealand.

Interest from over the ditch saw a majority share in the horse sold.

With great foresight veteran breeder/owner Dan Goodwin and trainer Nick Bishara retained a shareholding.

Current trainer Chris Waller, who rules the roost in Australian thoroughbred racing with a list of champions that is headed by the mighty Winx, also came from a modest start. Waller crossed the Tasman from his Foxton base with just two horses and a suitcase full of dreams.

Hard work and perseverance since his arrival in Sydney two decades ago, have seen Chris Waller win the Sydney premiership for eleven straight seasons.

The all Kiwi team win was completed by James McDonald, who joined Chris Waller in winning the Melbourne Cup for the first time.

A New Zealand champion jockey before joining the pressure-cooker atmosphere of Sydney racing,

McDonald has ridden his way to become the preeminent jockey in Australia.

Veery Ellegant has written her name into Australian thoroughbred racing immortality with her historic win in the race that stops two nations.

The six-year-old mare has returned the luster of New Zealand\-bred horses in the Melbourne Cup, after European domination since the dawn of the 21st century.

She has joined New Zealand bred's in Rising Fast, Even Stevens, Galilee, Gurners Lane, Let’s Elope, Doreimus, Might and Power and Ethereal, in completing the Caulfield/Melbourne Cup double - although Veery Ellegant wins were in separate years.

Veery Ellegant had to overcome starting from out in the sticks in barrier 19, and carrying the second highest weight by a mare in the great race, before powering down the outside to a four length win. 

With 10 Group 1 victories and more than $14 million dollars in stakes, Veery Elllegant is now entitled to challenge Sunline as the greatest champion mare produced in New Zealand.