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Chris Waller reacts as Verry Elleegant dies due to foaling complications

Chris Waller has paid tribute to Australian champion Verry Elleegant after the mare died due to foaling complications.

Waller handled the New Zealand-bred runner for the majority of her superstar career, saddling the daughter of Zed to win 11 Group One contests, including the 2020 Caulfield Cup and the 2021 Melbourne Cup.

Following that Flemington victory, Verry Elleegant was sent to race in Europe in the summer of 2022, joining Francis-Henri Graffard in France.

She had four starts for Graffard, with her best effort coming when third in the Prix Foy and she signed off with an unplaced effort on Champions Day at Ascot in October 2022.

The eight-year-old remained in Europe following her career swansong and was covered by Sea The Stars last year.

“It is incredibly sad that we pass on the news on behalf of the ownership group that Verry Elleegant has passed away due to complications giving birth to her foal,” Waller said in a statement on social media.

“The news is just filtering through to stable staff now 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.”

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