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Where Eagles Soar

Will it be third time lucky?

It’s the first Met in history run at pure weight-for-age and with newsmaking L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner Legal Eagle out to bury the memory of his two consecutive runner-up cheques, there is plenty to play for in a class line-up.

The shock late withdrawal on Thursday morning of the Mike de Kock pair of Cascapedia and Heavenly Blue, for what is believed to be travel sickness related issues, has cast a temporary cloud over the race.

But the betting will be adjusted and the show goes on, with the balance of the 18 runners looking set to provide a dazzling spectacle.

Dual SA Horse Of The Year Legal Eagle has been beaten a collective 5 lengths by Smart Call and Whisky Baron in the past two Mets and gets his chance to make good at the revised weight conditions – which naturally play into his favour. A champion miler and past SA Derby winner, his wide draw may force Anton Marcus to ride him patiently from midfield. He is a horse with a terrific kick though and is thought to be at his physical peak by some observers.

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5 comments on “Where Eagles Soar

  1. karel says:

    It is interesting to reflect on Legal Eagle’s two previous attempts to win the Met and to put the doubts about him staying 2000m in context.

    In 2016, Smart Call him by 3½ lengths, with Captain America a length back in 3rd.
    They didn’t compete at weight-for-age, though, and in terms of ratings Smart Call ran 114, Legal Eagle 113 and Captain America 112.

    In 2017, Whisky Baron beat Legal Eagle by 1½ lengths, with Captain America a neck back in third.
    Again, the race wasn’t at weight-for-age, and on ratings Whisky Baron ran 113, Legal Eagle 116, Captain America 111.
    Gold Standard in 4th ran 108, and Marinaresco in 5th recorded 110.

    The ratings are the Sporting Post ratings, which differ somewhat from the official ones, but what will be the same are the differences between ratings of the individual horses.
    This year they meet at weight-for-age, meaning simply that the highest rating wins.
    Level playing field at last for Legal Eagle.

    Incidentally, the Sporting Post distance aptitude for Legal Eagle shows as 97/116/116/116/104 – so in terms of ratings he’s as good over 1400, 1600 and 2000m based on what he has shown before.

    1. Phillip Lamport says:

      Thank you Karel the best post I have read for a while on SP. At least one person knows what they are talking about.

  2. Rian says:

    Smart call and Whisky baron could both have won more easily that they did
    The weight for age not going to help him on Sat even with the level playing field you so proudly boast about
    The 2 other Queens plates he won easily but not the last one, might have been the stress of changing owners or age
    Lets check this space after the race

  3. Pmb says:

    Both Smart Call and Whiskey Baron ran far better races than they had previously, or probably since.
    Legal Eagle is the benchmark ,and anything that beats him will have to either run better ratings than ever , or hope he runs below par. He has been very consistent as well as brilliant at times.
    There are a few that have always been thereabouts, and a few who’s abilities have not been tested to the full which, despite the weights , is going to make this a pretty exciting race.

  4. Ian Jayes says:

    All things being equal if the pace is right Legal Eagle should be a shoo-in at weight-for-age.

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