21 August 2022

No panic from connections of Verry Elleegant despite Romanet reverse

21 August 2022

Francis-Henri Graffard insisted he was “happy” with Australian superstar Verry Elleegant, despite finishing last of seven under Frankie Dettori on her European debut in the Darley Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville.

Held up, the 11-time Group One winner in Australia for Chris Waller made little impression on her six rivals, failing to pick up in the straight when the Italian asked for her effort in the race won by the Richard Hannon-trained Aristia.

Verry Elleegant, who won last year’s Melbourne Cup with a dominant display at Flemington, was sent to France to join Graffard’s Chantilly stable with a view to having a crack at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp in October.

As Lanfranco Dettori told me, she’s a bit rusty. The track didn't suit her

The seven-year-old had been slow to progress since she arrived in France, but despite missing her intended first run for the yard in the one-mile Prix Rothschild on August 2, Graffard insisted all was well for her belated northern hemisphere bow over two furlongs further.

Despite lacking sparkle and never looking like she would get on terms with the principals, Graffard appeared satisfied.

He said: “The result isn’t a good one, but as a trainer I’m happy with her return effort.

“As Lanfranco Dettori told me, she’s a bit rusty. The track didn’t suit her.

“We will have to give her a reprieve on 2400 metres (mile and a half), on softer ground. I think she will be seen out in the Qatar Prix Vermeille (September 11).”

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