Tarry Star To Wing It Into History Books?

Toughest task yet for the magic miler

Reigning champion Legal Eagle faces what looks to be the ultimate challenge of his illustrious career today.

Legal Eagle storms home in the Green Point thriller (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

Unbeaten at ten starts over a mile and bidding for his fourth consecutive L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate victory, the head and the heart tells us he can do it again – but it won’t be a walk in the park, in what is a premier quality field.

Based on the raw mathematics of the ratings and the weight-for-age terms of the race, Legal Eagle must be our top choice to win it. Throw in his steely fighting spirit and one of the best jockeys around, who knows his mount like the back of his hand, and it’s difficult backing against him.

The dramatic Gr2 Green Point Stakes thriller is still fresh in the mind. Legal Eagle took them on at the 250m after Undercover Agent had led off a pedestrian pace, and he won the sprint to the line – getting the edge by a nose as Undercover Agent rallied, with Do It Again and Rainbow Bridge on top of them.

Trainer Sean Tarry said after that sensation win that Legal Eagle wasn’t improving – but he was a stronger horse this year than he was last. So the only angles to beat him could be an unexposed runner improving in a true-run race.

2018 Vodacom Durban July winner, Do It Again 9Pic – Candiese Marnewick)

Vodacom Durban July winner Do It Again was having his first start in five months when he stormed through in the Green Point to be beaten a neck. He will definitely strip fitter and is one of those likely to enjoy a harder run race.

The Gr1 Gold Challenge winner Undercover Agent showed his wellbeing with a class 1200m win at end October – his first run as a 4yo. He dictated the pace in the Green Point and rallied with heart and gusto to be beaten a nose into second. This still improving 4yo looks set for a big run.

Top filly Snowdance – Snaith bullish (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

The last filly to win this race was Mother Russia in 2011 and Justin Snaith throws an interesting curved ball into the mix with the dual Gr1 winner Snowdance. The Captain Al 4yo was never extended to win her return run on 8 December – that after a frustrating SA Champions Season where she ran three consecutive feature seconds – two at Gr1 level. On her Gold Challenge run to Undercover, she won’t be out of her depth here. It is interesting that Lyle Hewitson – who was aboard the winner at both of her SA Champion Season Gr1 defeats – takes the reins on Saturday.

Hat Puntano had his first run for Joey Ramsden when failing to feature in the Green Point Stakes and beaten 4,40 lengths by Legal Eagle. The 2017 Charity Mile winner does not appear to have the ammunition to take this field on based on current form.

Rainbow Bridge – will enjoy a true pace (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

Rainbow Bridge was storming home wide out in the Green Point Stakes and may have been unlucky when unsettled in a false-run race. That was the son of Ideal World’s first defeat in six starts and he will undoubtedly be looking for revenge and gets the chance to set the record straight. Trainer Eric Sands has included the pacy 7yo Amazing Strike who has never won at the mile and looks the obvious hare.

The scratching of Buffalo Bill Cody early on Friday morning has left Mike de Kock with only recent Cape Guineas winner Soqrat to carry his flag.

Soqrat is the only 3yo in the field and he bids to emulate another Australian-bred talent in 2012 winner Gimmethegreenlight, who was only the second 3yo to capture the prized trophy in forty years when beat champion Variety Club in that dramatic finish.  While Soqrat is an emphatic and impressive dual Gr1 winner, who will have to up his game again to challenge for top honours.

Soqrat wins the Cape Guineas (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

The Joburg raider, 2018 Thukela Handicap winner Infamous Fox looks a rather brave and optimistic entry at best. The son of Foxwedge has not run for 9 weeks since he ran unplaced in the Charity Mile.

It’s the head and heart choice again. Legal Eagle must get the vote on both counts.

But there are many pretenders to the royal crown – and he needs to reproduce the performance of his life today. It should be a helluva race – no prizes for that deduction though!

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