Zahra Verry excited by Arc call up

Jockey Mark Zahra is excited to be heading to Paris this week to ride Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed) in Sunday’s Gr.1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2400m) at Longchamp.

Zahra has previously steered he Kiwi-bred to victory in both the Gr.1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).

The 11-time Group One winner has had two starts in France under the care of Francis-Henri Graffard, finishing last at her European debut in the Gr.1 Prix Jean Romanet (2000m) and then running third in the Gr.2 Prix Foy (2400m) at her most recent outing.

“I’m obviously very excited, it’s one of the biggest and best races in the world, so I’m really excited to go over there,” Zahra said.

“I’m on one of Australia’s best stayers to go down in history, she’s won the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup (Gr.1, 3200m). Her two runs have been okay but she’s just looking for, you’d think, a big field and big speed, so hopefully she gets that in the Arc, and we’ll see how we go.”

Should Zahra land the Arc on Verry Elleegant, he’ll become the 11th Australian jockey to win one of European racing’s showpiece events, joining the likes of Scobie Breasley, George Moore, Gary Moore, and Bill Williamson on the honour roll.

The Melbourne-based rider will head to France on Thursday night before returning home on the Tuesday prior to the Caulfield Guineas meeting.

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