The scratching of star galloper Legal Eagle by SA champion trainer Sean Tarry a day after publication of the Vodacom Durban July weights is bound to elicit plenty of public debate and arguments for and against – from the head, the heart and maybe even the pocket.
The withdrawal – they are not obliged to furnish reasons – at 08h50 today of the horse allotted topweight of 60kgs for Africa’s greatest horseracing event can hardly be classed as a surprise.
The bottom line is that Tarry and his connections exercised their rights within the parameters of the published conditions of the race, and have effectively placed Legal Eagle’s smart stablemate French Navy in a considerably stronger position.
The two horses race from the same stable, for different owners.
The race conditions state that notwithstanding the caps on the weights to be carried by the 3 and 4yo’s, if the topweight is less than 60kgs, the handicapper will raise all weights proportionately to 60kgs.
So with Legal Eagle’s flight, French Navy will be raised 5lbs from his current 57,5 kgs to a new topweight of 60kgs.
If his rating of 117 (a nett 113) is to be believed, SA Triple Crown winner Abashiri is the only 3yo not under sufferance.
But that is a debate for another day!
The racing operator may want to consider the small print of the July conditions – like the timing of the age category caps, which could possibly rather be implemented at time of final field declaration maybe?
The whole idea of the caps on the 3yo’s is surely intended to make it attractive for the smarter ones to compete and not be played out of the game, before it begins.
Was it not Mike de Kock who got them thinking on these lines when deciding to sidestep Africa’s greatest horseracing event with that magnificent champion 3yo, Horse Chestnut?
For ante-post betting players, the rules of the game (set by Bookmakers, not the Legal Eagle connections or the racing operator) are clear and those that took a bite of the tasty apple offered on Legal Eagle, will be sitting with worthless tickets.
But that is in the nature of the risk of taking a gamble.
Here is our adjusted July weight picture:
|LEGAL EAGLE||(4G)||60||120||Sean Tarry||ADJ KGS|
|FRENCH NAVY||(4G)||57,5||115||Sean Tarry||60|
|MAC DE LAGO||(4G)||57||114||Weiho Marwing||59,5|
|MASTER SABINA||(6G)||54||108||Geoff Woodruff||56,5|
|NEW PREDATOR||(3C)||53||107||Johan Janse van Vuuren||55,5|
|BLACK ARTHUR||(3C)||53||106||Justin Snaith||55,5|
|DEO JUVENTE||(4G)||53||106||Geoff Woodruff||55,5|
|SAMURAI BLADE||(3C)||53||106||Sean Tarry||55,5|
|SOLID SPEED||(5G)||53||106||B Dean Kannemeyer||55,5|
|IT’S MY TURN||(3G)||53||105||Justin Snaith||55,5|
|PUNTA ARENAS||(7G)||53||105||C Dennis Drier||55,5|
|ROCKETBALL||(3G)||53||105||Gavin van Zyl||55,5|
|GOLD ONYX||(8G)||53||103||Sean Tarry||55,5|
|MAMBO MIME||(3C)||53||103||Dean Kannemeyer||55,5|
|ROMANY PRINCE||(3G)||53||102||Ormond Ferraris||55,5|
|TEN GUN SALUTE||(3C)||53||102||Duncan Howells||55,5|
|BALANCE SHEET||(4G)||53||101||B Dean Kannemeyer||55,5|
|BANKABLE TEDDY||(3C)||53||101||B Brian Wiid||55,5|
|DISCO AL||(6G)||53||101||Joey Ramsden||55,5|
|MARINARESCO||(3G)||53||101||B Mike Bass||55,5|
|PROSPECT STRIKE||(3G)||53||101||Sean Tarry||55,5|
|THE CONGLOMERATE||(4G)||53||101||Joey Ramsden||55,5|
|MASTER’S EYE||(4G)||53||100||Justin Snaith||55,5|
|ST TROPEZ||(4G)||53||99||Joey Ramsden||55,5|
|MASTER SWITCH||(4G)||53||98||Geoff Woodruff||55,5|
|DEPUTY JUD||(4G)||53||97||Mike Azzie||55,5|
|DIESEL JET||(4C)||53||96||Erico Verdonese||55,5|
|SARATOGA DANCER||(4G)||53||95||Duncan Howells||55,5|
|RAINY DAY BLUES||(4G)||53||92||Joe Soma||55,5|
|JUBILEE LINE||(3G)||53||90||Mike de Kock||55,5|
|NEGROAMARO||(3F)||52||102||Johan Janse van Vuuren||54,5|
|TROPHY WIFE||(4F)||52||101||Sean Tarry||54,5|
|THE CENTENAR||(4F)||52||98||Mike de Kock||54,5|
On the flipside of the coin, the French Navy backers will be amongst those smiling.
The conditions of the race may certainly warrant another look – given the situation arising.