Ardmore trainer Nick Bishara could experience his biggest moment in racing at Flemington on Thursday, but he won’t be on course to witness it.
He shares in the ownership of talented three-year-old filly Verry Elleegant who will contest the Group 1 Kennedy Oaks (2500m) and is rated a top prospect by bookmakers, sitting as a $5 third-favourite.
Formerly trained in New Zealand by Bishara, Verry Elleegant won two of her three races in her homeland before a majority share was sold to clients of leading Victorian trainer Darren Weir.
The daughter of Zed ran third in the Group 2 Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington when on debut in Australia for Weir before going on to win the Group 3 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.
She subsequently started as a $2.40 favourite for the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday where she ran home late for fifth.
Bishara is on the ride of his life with the filly and he hopes the rain-affected track at Flemington will help that run continue on Thursday.
“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 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.”
With commitments at home Bishara is unable to make it to Flemington, but he said she will have plenty of Kiwi supporters barracking her down the Flemington straight on Thursday.
“Unfortunately I am not heading over. I had planned to go, but I’ve got one in the last at Avondale (on Wednesday), so 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.
“Being a A$1million Group 1, I’d love to be there. But that’s the way it is, it has just got too tough unfortunately.
“The original owners still have 25 percent of her and they are all over there and Rowena (Smyth, her jockey in New Zealand) is flying over on Thursday morning after her commitments at Avondale.”
Bishara is looking forward to having a runner in the Oaks, but said the immature filly has a lot of developing to do and he believes she will be an exciting prospect in the autumn.
“It’s fabulous (to have a runner in the Oaks). She isn’t the finished product and the improvement going forward to the autumn I think will be immense, both in maturity and race manners.
“If she can run one, two or three in a VRC Oaks in the spring with not doing everything right and still a bit immature, what can she do in autumn? It’s very exciting and I’m looking forward to a good run tomorrow, so fingers-crossed.”