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Verry poor timing leaves Bishara out of Oaks

4 min read
Nick Bishara may have played a significant role in Verry Elleegant's (NZ) (Zed {NZ}) development into a G1 Kennedy Oaks contender, but duties at home in New Zealand will prevent her part-owner and former trainer from watching her at Flemington on Thursday.

Now trained by Darren Weir, Verry Elleegant is on the third line of betting for the Group 1 feature, but any celebrations from Bishara will be done remotely as he had to strap the star filly's older sister in the last race at Avondale on Wednesday.

Black Lace (NZ) (Towkay) managed a third placing for Bishara at Avondale, having led most of the way.

"Being a mid-week race most of the girls who help me around the stable have got nine-to-five jobs. So I’m it - I’m the strapper, trainer and truck driver," he said.

"Being a mid-week race most of the girls who help me around the stable have got nine-to-five jobs. So I’m it - I’m the strapper, trainer and truck driver." - Nick Bishara

“Being a million dollar Group 1, I’d love to be there. But that’s the way it is, it has just got too tough unfortunately."

Nick Bishara

"We'll get the barbie fired up here, have a few beers and see what happens!"

Most of the other original owners, who still have 25 percent of the filly along with her former jockey Rowena Smyth, will be trackside at Flemington.

Verry Elleegant was ruling Oaks favourite until last Saturday when she could only manage fifth in the G2 Wakeful S. the traditional lead-up.

Weir, who has three runners in the race, including the favourite Amphitrite (Sebring), was not too concerned by that run, telling racenet.com.au that he hopes that she may settle better over a more suitable distance on Thursday.

“I think her having a good blow out on Saturday is definitely a plus for her,” he said, “Her (racing) manners have been an issue so hopefully Saturday took the edge off her and she races more tractably."

“She’s a filly I do think well eat up the trip. I’m happy with her.”

The rest of Verry Ellegant's connections will be trackside at Flemington

Bishara backs bounceback

Bishara, who oversaw Verry Elleegant's first three starts in New Zealand for two wins, thinks the addition of a shadow roll, plus a likely soft track, will play in the filly's favour.

“I think she will appreciate a little cut in the ground,” he said. “It was fairly firm at Flemington on Saturday according to all reports and she did feel it a fraction."

"I think she will appreciate a little cut in the ground." - Nick Bishara

“I see Darren Weir has put a shadow roll on her to help keep her head down and hopefully the run on Saturday would have taken the edge off her.”

Verry Elleegant winning at Caulfield

She is aiming to become the first New Zealand-bred filly to win the race since Kirramosa (NZ) (Alamosa {NZ}) in 2013.

Jockey John Allen is looking to add to his success with Extra Brut (Domesday) for Weir in last Saturday's G1 AAMI Victoria Derby.

Amphitrite's staying test

Weir's other key chance, Amphitrite, is coming off a an unlucky 11th in the G1 Empire Rose S. at Flemington last Saturday.

She is attempting to emulate Mosheen (Fastnet Rock), who came through that 1600m race in 2011 and came out and won the Oaks by a record nine lengths.

Amphitrite

Weir is not concerned by her below par showing on Saturday either, saying it would help bring her on from her win in the G1 Thousand Guineas at the start prior.

“I’ve got no idea if she’ll stay but she’s fit and well and only a spring three-year-old filly once.” - Darren Weir on Amphitrite

“What happened on Saturday I think is more of a help if anything,” Weir said. “She only had a gallop."

“I’ve got no idea if she’ll stay but she’s fit and well and only a spring three-year-old filly once.”

Weir also saddles up outsider Zapurler (High Chaparral {Ire}), who may be coming off a Echuca maiden, but boasts an exceptional staying pedigree.

“It’s basically a throw at the stumps for her,” Weir said. “She’s coming into off easier races but she does stay and most of them won’t on Thursday.”