NEWS | Melbourne Cup victory caps a terrific Tuesday for Goodwin

Don Goodwin can now add Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) breeder and owner to his resume after Verry Elleegant was a resounding winner of the staying feature at Flemington on Tuesday.

The winner of nine prior Group One races, Goodwin was confident of a bold showing from his classy mare and he was jubilant she was able to pull the historic win off.

“I am immensely proud,” Goodwin said from his Auckland home.

Don Goodwin, breeder and part-owner of Verry Elleegant. Photo: Supplied

“I was pretty confident but I was even more confident at the end of the big straight at the start of the race. It was a brilliant ride, he (jockey James McDonald) just got her in the right position.

“When she was racing six or seven back in the clear down the back straight, I thought yep, we’ll be right in this, she will be hard to bowl here, and so she proved.

“If want to show young apprentice jockeys how to ride a staying race show them that.”

The Chris Waller-trained mare had put in a fine performance to finish third in the Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley just over a week ago, and Goodwin said she thrives on a short back-up.

“The last time she had a short break with seven days up, she came out with a similar win in the Tancred (Gr.1, 2400m). She thrives on a short break between races,” he said.

“I thought the Oaks win at Randwick was pretty good, but the Melbourne Cup, oh Christ.”

Out of broodmare gem Opulence, Verry Elleegant is by Grangewilliam Stud stallion Zed, a sire Goodwin has been a great supporter of over the years.

“He is a well-bred sire, but he is not a physically imposing sire,” Goodwin said.

“She is the best of them and the mare (Opulence) is in foal to Zed again. He is not a one-horse wonder.

“Opulence goes back through Cotehele House to Eight Carat who is one of the best broodmares in New Zealand.

“It is a very good family.”

Winning a Melbourne Cup had been a dream of Goodwin’s for many years, and he said to finally win one has been one of the biggest highlights of his life.

Verry Elleegant winning the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m). Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

“For Kiwis and Aussies, it is the race that stops two nations and we won it,” he said.

“I will live on this for years, as long as I stay alive.

“It is the best Tuesday I have had in my life, you don’t have too many good Tuesdays.” – NZ Racing Desk