Jack Milner: We are only a few days into 2019 and already pundits are calling Saturday’s L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate over 1600m at Kenilworth as the race of the year.
It could be too soon for the statement to be true but if some race is going to be better it will have to be spectacular.
Ten horses are carded to go to post for this Grade 1 race with prize money of R1.5 million and one could make a strong case for any one of seven.
However, everybody loves a champion and that champion is undoubtedly Legal Eagle.
He is seven years old but this son of Greys Inn is still defying all the odds. Sean Tarry’s charge has a record of 26 runs and 15 wins, but most impressively he has won 10 out of 10 over 1600m.
He is looking to add his name in the record books alongside that of the great Pocket Power in having won this race four successive times.
Legal Eagle showed exceptional courage when winning the Grade 2 Green Point Stakes last month when he had his head down at exactly the right moment to beat Undercover Agent by a short head. Just behind him was Do It Again with Rainbow Bridge in fourth, beaten just 0.40 of a length.
Rainbow Bridge is now 2kg worse off and as he was the fit horse at the time of the Green Point while Legal Eagle will strip a lot fitter this time, I believe he will again beat all those who were behind him last time.
So, if you are looking at some horse to beat the champ, one might need to look at those who haven’t met him before.
Following the scratching of Buffalo Bill Cody, chief among these is Soqrat, winner of two Grade 1 races, including the Cape Guineas last month. He won in a decent time and he gets 5kg from most of the other runners. The Australian-bred colt won the Guineas without much fuss and we do know he likes the Kenilworth track. He is also well drawn at No 3.