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Tuesday, 15 January, 2019

Legal Eagle flies to Queen's Plate victory

Legal Eagle (Anton Marcus) gets up close home to win the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate for the third successive year at Kenilworth
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Report: South Africa Saturday

Kenilworth: L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (Grade 1), 1m, turf, 3yo+

Legal Eagle (Sean Tarry/Anton Marcus), who would have carried Markus Jooste’s colours had South Africa’s top owner not been embroiled in financial scandal, landed the country’s premier mile race for the third consecutive time.

Legal Eagle he had to call on his deepest reserves to get up 20 yards from home to score a really hard-fought win by less than half a length from fast-finishing 50-1 shot Copper Force.

Corne Orffer made a bold bid to steal the race on Captain America, placed in this race in the last two years, and he looked as if he might succeed when he still had a two-length lead with a furlong to run.

Marcus, asked if he thought he would get up, said: “I wasn’t sure. I had my reservations but I have a lot of faith in this horse and I was hoping.”

In the end it was Lyle Hewitson on Copper Force who snatched second but Orffer reckoned he was unlucky, saying: “One of the outsiders, It Is Written, came up to me early and I had to conserve my horse’s energy a bit longer than I wanted. If he had left me alone I just might have done it.”

The winner is favourite for the Sun Met on 27 January and has finished second in the race in each of the last two years.

Tarry said: “Captain America did everything right and it was a massive effort on my horse’s part to come and fetch him.”

Legal Eagle cantering to post

The winner was bought last month by businessman Braam van Huyssteen and two partners for R3.2 million (about £200,000).

Queen's Plate result

Report: South Africa Saturday

Kenilworth: Cartier Paddock Stakes (Grade 1), 1m 1f, turf, 3yo+ fillies and mares

Oh Susanna (Justin Snaith/Grant van Niekerk) landed a hefty gamble after being backed all week from 12-1 to 71-20 to give former champion trainer Snaith his fourth Paddock Stakes win in 11 seasons.

Van Niekerk, who also won the race three years ago on Inara in the same Gaynor Rupert colours, went to the front well over a furlong out and his mount strode clear to beat a Lady In Black, who was back to peak form, by a most convincing length and a half. Mike de Kock’s 61-20 favourite Nother Russia was a length and a quarter further back fourth.

Van Niekerk said: “I thought I might have gone a little bit too early but basically I was just a passenger. When I pulled her out she quickened clear and, if anything had come to her, she would have pulled out more.”

The winner had finished second to stable companion and superstar Snowdance in the Cape Fillies Guineas on her previous start and Snaith commented: “I said then that this was the only horse who could beat Snowdance. She won’t run in the Majorca [mile Group 1 on Met day] and will probably go to Durban. Snowdance runs in the Majorca.”

Paddock Stakes result

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I thought I might have gone a little bit too early but basically I was just a passenger
E.W. Terms
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