Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant dies giving birth

Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant dies giving birth

The racing world is in mourning after the death of star mare and Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant, with tributes led by her former trainer Chris Waller.

Verry Ellegant had moved to France in 2022 to continue her racing career, but was retired later that year before beginning a new career as a broodmare.

Connections confirmed on Monday the mare had died following complications giving birth.

She was in foal to superstar stallion Sea The Stars, who won a string of big global races including the 2,000 Guineas in England, the English Derby, the Eclipse Stakes, Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The foal, which would have been her first, did not survive.

Verry Elleegant — trained for almost her entire career by Waller — won the 2020 Caulfield Cup, the 2021 Melbourne Cup defeating Incentivise and was named the 2020/2021 Australasian Horse of the Year.

Waller posted a statement on social media on behalf of the ownership group.

“It is incredibly sad that we pass on the news … that Verry Elleegant has passed away due to complications giving birth to her foal,” Waller’s statement read.

“The news is just filtering through to stable staff and other close connections who are coming to terms with this tragic news.

“She was in fantastic hands on a farm who did all they could for her, and we would like to thank them for their efforts which we will be forever grateful for.

“We all saw the courage she had on the racetrack over many seasons, and she will never be forgotten by those close to her as well as the wider racing public who followed her career and loved her so much.”

Other racing figures and organisations paid tribute to Verry Elleegant.

Racing Victoria posted on social media, describing her as “a champion racehorse who captured the hearts of global racing fans”.

The Australian Turf Club put out a statement, saying all were “devastated” to learn of her death.

Verry Elleegant was the first Melbourne Cup-winning ride for star jockey James McDonald.(Getty Images: Darrian Traynor)

“ATC will proudly honour the champion mare on March 2 at Royal Randwick,” the statement read.

The Victorian Racing Club at Flemington also passed on condolences to connections and paid tribute to Verry Elleegant.

“Verry Elleegant was a once-in-a-lifetime horse and a rare talent, winning Group 1 races from 1400m to two miles.

“Her win in the 2021 Melbourne Cup was nothing short of incredible and she is immortalised in history as the winner of one of the world’s most iconic races.”

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