Three-times SA Champion trainer Sean Tarry has never been one to dwell on defeat or offer excuses but he gave a factual analysis of Legal Eagle’s defeat in last Saturday’s Gr1 L’Ormarin’s Queen’s Plate and confirmed Lyle Hewitson would be riding him in the Sun Met.
Tarry said he normally had difficulty saddling Legal Eagle and the horse usually played up in the parade ring too.
However, the seven-year-old gelding had been “quiet” in both instances on Saturday.
He said there had been nothing wrong with the way he strode out going down to the start but noticed he had not taken hold of the bit.
He added Legal Eagle had not travelled well at any stage of the race.
He concluded, “So he was not really himself on the day and then ran a flat race.”
The superstar had been attempting to equal Pocket Power’s record of four successive Queen’s Plates. He had gone into the race undefeated in ten attempts at a mile
Tarry continued, “He was a bit quiet the next day, but we have freshened him up and he is well. So it was just an off day on the wrong day, but that’s life.”
Legal Eagle is considered best at a mile but did win the SA Derby as a three-year-old and won the Grade 1 Champions Challenge over 2000m as a four-year-old. He has twice finished runner up in the Met and fourth once and he finished second once in the Champions Challenge.
Tarry raised an interesting point, “I would like to see an analysis on how he has done over 2000m when coming from off the pace and how he has done when up at the front.”
Tarry thus hinted Legal Eagle would come from off the pace in the Met although he added that was just the way he had been thinking at present and it might all change after the draw ceremony.
Tarry had gone into last year’s Met supremely confident, but unfortunately the race just did not pan out well for Legal Eagle. He was caught wide and Marcus was eventually forced to take him up further forward than had been the plan. He then found no extra in the closing stages and finished a disappointing fourth.
In other Tarry yard news from last Saturday’s Kenilworth meeting Safe Harbour has been retired to stud after sustaining a tendon injury in the Gr1 Cartier Paddock Stakes where she finished eighth. The five-year-old Elusive Fort mare failed to attain bold black type in a 27 race career but will nevertheless be valuable as her three career wins included the R2,5 million Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes and her five Grade 1-places included runner up finishes in all of the Cape Fillies Guineas, Paddock Stakes and SA Fillies Classic.
The final declarations for the Sun Met meeting are at 11h00 on Monday 14 January.