Verry Elleegant: Melbourne Cup Result a Huge Win For Bookies

Author Image Article By Gavin Beech GDC - Icon - Black - Info
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Verry Elleegant: Melbourne Cup Result a Huge Win For Bookies
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No one was cheering louder than the top horse racing betting sites when $16.50 chance Verry Elleegant swept clear in the final 400m to win the 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup.

It was meant to be all about Incentivise, the shortest-price Melbourne Cup betting favourite since Phar Lap in 1930 and one that was considered such a racing certainty that one major bookmaker (Sportsbet) had already paid out on him winning.

However, no one told Verry Elleegant whose devastating late speed catapulted her to a four-length success over the red-hot favourite, while British raider Spanish Mission finished best of the small international contingent in third.

Verry Ellegant’s $16.50 race odds reflected the fact that she was being asked to carry more weight than when beaten in the race 12 months ago, had still to convince most watchers that the 2m trip was ideal and was asked to come from a wide barrier.

However, she was able to find a much more prominent early position than 12 months ago, where she was forced to come from the back of the field, and the New Zealand-bred daughter of Zed put to bed any stamina doubts by seeing her race out powerfully.

Melbourne Cup 2021 Result: McDonald’s Fortune

The spectacular success, a remarkable tenth Group 1 for the 6-year-old mare, enhanced an already glittering CV for Hall of Fame trainer Chris Waller, who watched his 129th Group 1 victory from home in Sydney with his family, and rider James McDonald, who has hit the frame twice in the Cup but never managed to win the big one until now.

For the winning jockey, it was also a moment of huge fortune because until Thursday he was booked to ride the Ismail Mohammed-trained Away He Goes but that runner was ruled out with a tendon injury.

Moments after crossing the line, an emotional McDonald told reporters: “I love her to bits. She’s been so good to me. They can safely say she’s a champion now."

“She was relaxed the whole way. When I looked at the 600m marker, I still just, just... I was blowing kisses to her the whole way.

“I don’t know. I just can’t believe what’s just happened.”

Melbourne Cup Curse Lifted

Verry Elleegant’s victory, the 14th from a mare in Cup history and the first since the great Makybe Diva earlier this century, also finally ended one of racing’s great curses.

In the 160-year history of the Melbourne Cup, no horse had ever been successful from barrier 18 - it was the only gate that hadn’t produced a winner. It's one of those illogical quirks that sometimes come along in sport but it’s been put to bed once and for all by a superstar mare.

So, what of Incentivise – the supposed 2021 Melbourne Cup banker? The $2.00 favourite didn’t really have any excuses – he was in pole position turning into the straight but had no answers when the mare sprinted by. He stayed the 3,200m trip, just not as well as Verry Elleegant who gatecrashed the party.

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Gavin Beech

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