LEGAL EAGLE WITH SEAN TARRY AND ANTON MARCUS
Jack Milner: There is no denying the manner in which Snowdance thumped the field in the Grade 2 Western Cape Fillies Championship over 1400m in October and a repeat of that performance will make Justin Snaith’s charge a tough not to crack in Saturday’s Grade 1 World Sports Betting Fillies Guineas over 1600m.
The daughter of Captain Al has a lot going for her. She is the best handicapped runner, she is beautifully positioned at gate No 2 and has a top jockey in Bernard Fayd’Herbe in the irons. Snowdance has only raced three times for two wins and a close-up second behind Elusive Heart so the form is also there.
Last time she was drawn No 14 of the 15 runners and Fayd’Herbe managed to get her out of the stalls in a flash and dictate at a moderate pace which her rivals did not bother to chase. However, there are two different factors that come into the reckoning this time.
Firstly, the race is run on the summer course which has a far longer straight. So even if Snowdance does get a useful lead the chasing pack will have a better chance of getting to her. Secondly this race is 200m further than she has yet attempted and based on family connections, that is not in her favour. Her full sister, Victorian Secret, did not win beyond 1200m, while Beat The Retreat, who was by Argonaut, also did not win beyond 1400m.
Nevertheless, Snowdance has done nothing wrong and has to be the first choice runner.
Magical Wonderland was unbeaten in four starts going into the Fillies Championship but there was a lot of doubt as to whether she would stay 1400m. Jockey Aldo Domeyer held her back early on and by the time he let her go Snowdance had the race in the bag.
She was beaten 4.25 lengths but it is unlikely Candice Bass-Robinson’s runner will use the same tactics this time. The daughter of What A Winter remains suspect over 1600m but was not stopping in the closing stages last time and from No 4 draw looks the main threat to the favourite.
Lady In Black needed the run behind Snowdance but she is a Grade 1 winner over this distance at Greyville and will be a lot more competitive on this occasion off a good draw.
Via Seattle pulled off a major upset in the Grade 3 Starling Stakes over 1400m at Turffontein when beating Folk Dance by 1.25 lengths. The runner-up ran out a very easy winner of the Grade 3 Fillies Mile at Turffontein last Sunday so that form cannot be underestimated.
Legal Eagle makes his seasonal debut in the Cape and as he is unbeaten in six races over 1600m Sean Tarry’s charge looks hard to oppose in the Grade 2 Green Point Stakes. He meets the “usual suspects” in Captain America and Sail South who he should beat again. The new kid on the block is Edict Of Nantes and could pose a bigger threat to Legal Eagle.
But the favourite is at least 2.5kg better weighted than any of his opposition and looks a stand-out bet.
The Grade 2 Cape Merchants looks a battle between the tried and trusted sprinters and a couple of up-and-coming three-year-olds. The Bass-Robinson stable has always had a very high opinion of Dutch Philip and the lightly weighted son of What A Winter could prove too talented for the older set.
Always In Charge with Anton Marcus up could be best of the older runners although he is just a four-year-old.