L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate

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January 6, 2018

The Avontuur Thoroughbred Estate bred Legal Eagle made history when he won the G1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, run over 1600m at Kenilworth, for a third year running.

Making his first outing for new owners Braam Van Huyssteen, Hedley McGrath and William Henderson, Legal Eagle became the first since Pocket Power to win what is widely regarded as South Africa’s premier 1600m contest on three occasions.

Trained by Sean Tarry, Legal Eagle was all the rage for the 2018 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and eventually started 7-10 favourite.

In winning his third Queen’s Plate running, he seemed to have very little chance as the horses came through the 400m mark, being an estimated four lengths behind pacemaker Captain America, but when jockey Anton Marcus pressed the accelerator and started riding in earnest, the son of Greys Inn responded gamely and got up to score by 0.4 of a length, over 50-1 shot Copper Force.

Front running Captain America was game in third place, and finished a neck in front of his G1 Champions Cup winning stablemate Sail South.

Now unbeaten in eight outings over a mile, Legal Eagle won the 2018 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate in a time of 98.14.

As a winner of the Queen’s Plate, Legal Eagle automatically secured a berth for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Mile. The gelding has now won 12 of his 21 races, with seven of his wins coming at G1 level.

One of three G1 winners sired by Zabeel’s champion and July winning son Greys Inn, Legal Eagle had cost then owners Mayfair Speculators R425 000 when purchased from the 2013 BSA Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale.

His LQP victory pushed the six-year-old gelding’s earnings to over R10 000 000.

Images: Candiese Marnewick, Bloodstock South Africa