A significant share in Melbourne Cup winning champion Verry Elleegant is being put up for sale

By Joshua Smith
NZ Racing Desk

A significant share in champion racemare Verry Elleegant is set to be offered through online auction platform Gavelhouse Plus.

With reluctance, Auckland businessman Tim Barry has made the decision to part with his 12.5 per cent share in the 2021 Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner and offer it to a global audience due to personal reasons.

Barry joined Verry Elleegant’s ownership group following the second of two New Zealand wins that led to her relocation to Australia.


Along with childhood friends and a group of New Zealand and Australian interests, over the next four years he enjoyed a ride like no other.

Verry Elleegant’s retirement was recently announced after a challenging European campaign, but she will always be remembered for her raft of achievements under the training of champion conditioner Chris Waller.

Her full career tally finished at 40 starts for 16 wins and stakes of AU$14.9m. Her 11 Group 1 wins ranged in distance from 1400 to 3200m, in handicaps and at weight-for-age.

Verry Elleegant, ridden by James McDonald races away with the 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington. Picture: Scott Barbour–Racing Photos via Getty Images

“We could never have predicted the champion racehorse she was to become,” Barry said of the 2021 Australian Horse of the Year.

“There are so many wonderful memories, but if there’s one that stands out it was her Melbourne Cup win.

“It was just an incredible performance to carry 57 kilos, and see her cross the line so far in front of a very strong field, that will be my lasting memory.”

It has been agreed by the ownership group that the best and fairest way to sell Barry’s 12.5 per cent shareholding was through an online auction, and New Zealand Bloodstock’s well proven Gavelhouse platform will conduct the sale, which is due to commence next week.

The winning bidder will join the existing ownership group in the daughter of Zed, with her breeding career set to begin with a service by a leading European stallion in February of 2023, with champion racehorse and sire Sea The Stars currently the leading contender.

Verry Elleegant

Verry Elleegant after winning the Melbourne Cup. Picture: Rocky Mangat. John Feder–The Daily Telegraph

After foaling down in Europe in early 2024, she will likely visit another European sire in the 2024 season but be served to Southern Hemisphere time and return to Australasia to foal down her second foal. The ownership will race and/or sell Verry Elleegant’s progeny as the group decides.


“Now a broodmare career awaits her and she’s due to arrive at Norelands Stud in Ireland, where she will let down before being covered early next year,” Barry said.

“The final decision has yet to be made as to which stallion she will visit, but expert advice has Sea the Stars high on the list.”

The Verry Elleegant shareholding launches at 5pm (NZT) Monday 14 November with bidding opening at 12pm (NZT) on Wednesday 16 November and the auction will close from 8pm (NZT) on Monday 21 November.

* Earlier this week champion US galloper Flightline was retired after just six unbeaten runs to stand at stud with his initial service fee announced at US$200,000 (AU$311,000). A 2.5 per cent share in the stallion was sold at auction for US$4.6m (AU$7.1m) after his Breeders Cup win on the weekend, valuing the horse at a staggering AU$248m.

Service fees for the biggest name stallions in the world have reached record proportions with Dubawi announced in the UK to stand at £350,000 (AU$615,000) to become the world’s most expensive sire ahead of Frankel at £275,000 (AU$488,000)

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