Verry Elleegant remains a chance for Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after Prix Foy Stakes placing

Verry Elleegant has finished a close third in the Group 2 Qatar Prix Foy Stakes at Longchamp and the dream of an appearance in the Prix l’Arc de Triomphe remains well and truly alive.

The Melbourne Cup winner surprised taking the role of leader in the six horse field after jockey Christophe Soumillon seized the opportunity early when the 11-time Group winner jumped cleanly.

Soumillon was able to dictate terms and the seven-year-old appeared to be traveling well within herself throughout the race before the tempo increased on turning for home.

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Bubble Gift, the 15/8 favorite had a perfect trail behind Verry Elleegant and he loomed to win but struggled to get past the Aussie who showed all her renowned grit despite racing against her usual pattern.

However, as the two fought stride-for-stride it was left to the five-year-old Iresine (7/2) to slice through from the tail before coming out from behind at the 200m to charge over the top late and get up to win by 1ΒΌ lengths with Bubble Gift nudging out Verry Elleegant (11/4) by only a head for second.

With the much improved effort showing Verry Elleegant was heading in the right direction she now has two possible assignments on the table in three weeks time, again at Longchamp.

Part owner Brae Sokolski spoke to Sky TV immediately after the race and was delighted with the performance of Verry Elleegant.

“I thought she went terrific, it was very unusual to see her leading but we’re glad Christophe (Soumillon) took the initiative,” Sokolski said.

“There wasn’t a lot of pace early and she got to the front and she settled and she gave a hell of a kick and was run down by two very high quality stayers.

“We’ve got reason now to be very optimistic about her being competitive on Arc weekend.

“I was surprised to see her lead, we certainly wanted to be positive out of the gates and thought she’d be in the first two pairs, but I certainly didn’t expect her leading.

“Christophe is a world class jockey and he seized the initiative and took her to the front, it’s not necessarily the best way for her to be ridden.

Trainer Francis-Henri Graffard with Verry Elleegant. Picture: Supplied

“Obviously she’s better with a sit but she still had her chance and I loved the way she fought on and the tenacity she showed it really told us she’s certainly back – very competitive and she’s going to come on again enormously for that run.

“She’ll be absolutely primed in three weeks time, (it’s) very exciting.

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“We’ll let the dust settle, see what Francis (Henri Graffard) and Christophe have to say and the rest of connections and myself will make a decision as to which race we feel is the best option.

“Obviously the Arc is going to be a much more difficult assignment so we need to really be confident she’s going to be ultra-competitive in that race if we are going to go down that path.

“Otherwise we do have the option of the race on the Saturday over the longer distance, the 2800m. We are in the enviable position of being able to look at both races. The most important thing is she pulls up well.”