Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant to swap Australia for Europe under Francis-Henri Graffard

Mebourne Cup champion Verry Elleegant is to make the shock move from Australia to France to be targeted at Europe's top races, including the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Reigning Mebourne Cup champion Verry Elleegant is to make a shock switch to be trained in Europe after swapping life under Chris Waller with cantering in Chantilly.

Francis-Henri Graffard will take on the six-year-old multiple Group 1 winning mare with the ultimate goal of a run in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October on top of a tilt at the Fillies & Mares Stakes on Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot.

Verry Elleegant's owners, including Brae Sokolski and Ozzie Kheir have grown frustrated at the options in the Southern Hemisphere and now go hunting for some of Europe's top prizes.

"After much deliberation we came to the realisation that if we want to campaign her in Europe, we need to do it properly and send her to be trained and prepared in the northern hemisphere.

"As such we wish to advise that Verry Elleegant will be transferred to the care of leading French trainer Francis-Henri Graffard and trained out of the world class facilities at Chantilly.

"Although transportation arrangements are still being finalised, she will finish her spell next week and subject to flight availability will fly out anytime from that point forward.

"Bringing her to Europe early opens up a number of new possibilities, one of which is running in the Arc, however we will just keep an open mind on her program until deeper in her preparation with Francis."

The statement also doffed a cap to former trainer Waller and regular jockey James McDonald.

"We would like to take this opportunity to express our enormous gratitude to Chris Waller and his team for the outstanding job they have done with Verry Elleegant.

"Chris is one of the world's greatest trainers and must take a huge amount of credit in allowing her to fulfil her potential and bringing her up to her peak, preparation after preparation," the statement added.

"We would also like to give particular kudos to her strapper, Rocky Mangat and track rider, Chris Harwood and of course James McDonald who won a staggering nine Group Ones aboard her including her crowning achievement in the 2021 Melbourne Cup.

"We are incredibly excited about the journey ahead and showcasing her on the world stage. We know win, lose or draw she will do us, Australia and of course New Zealand proud."

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