Don’t write off Legal Eagle

PUBLISHED: 09 May 2019

Sean Tarry as usual has plenty to look forward to for the remainder of the SA Champions Season. 

Tarry said Legal Eagle’s fourth place finish under Lyle Hewitson in the Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge, in which he was charging late, was “a cracker” and added it was unfortunate he had to come from so far back in a slow run race. However, on the bright side he has been dropped two points by the handicappers to 116. He will carry 55.5kg in the Vodacom July as things stand and Tarry said this “puts him right in the race.” Tarry was considering avoiding the Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge and swinging towards a Pinnacle event on June the 9th as his July preparation run.

He pointed out Tilbury Fort’s best form was all under Hewitson, so the July rides would still be under discussion. 

Legal Eagle & Sean Tarry (Liesl King)
Legal Eagle & Sean Tarry (Liesl King)

Tilbury Fort did a bit too much early when overcoming a wide draw on Saturday and was eventually not persevered with by Piere Strydom. He should not be written off.

Tarry also thought Zillzaal had run “an unbelievable race” considering how much work he had to do when caught one wide behind the flank of the pacemaker. The Grade 1 Daily News 2000 is an option for this July entry.

Tarry said it was unfortunate Cirillo missed the break slightly in the Grade 2 IOS Drill Hall Stakes where he still finished just 0,35 lengths and a neck respectively behind two of the best horses in the country, Undercover Agent and Rainbow Bridge. The Pomodoro colt’s close second to Soqrat in the Grade 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes over the tough Turffontein mile proves that he is just as effective over a mile and the Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge will be his next target.

Return Flight will go for the Grade 1 Woolavington 2000 and, interestingly, Anton Marcus has been confirmed for the ride. Marcus is retained by Ridgemont Stud but Brett Crawford said Ridgemont filly Front And Centre’s route into her likely target of the Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes had not yet been decided. A look at Return Flight’s program would suggest she has had a tough season, especially as she is a front-runner, but Tarry believed in her last four starts, which included wins in the Grade 1 SA Classic over 1800m, the Grade SA Oaks and the Grade 2 Gerald Rosenberg on Saturday, she had only been made to work hard in the SA Classic. Tarry said he was not scared of the Cape fillies and pointed out Return Flight was already a two-time Grade 1 winner whereas Santa Clara had the run of the race in the Grade 2 KRA Fillies Guineas on Friday night behind three horses in front who all did too much work.

Included among that trio was Celtic Sea and Tarry said, “Her race was a mess.” She will likely be back for the Tibouchina and Garden Province.

Tarry said a line could also be drawn through Matador Man’s run in the Drill Hall as he had returned with an eye closed.

On Saturday the two-year-old filly Cavivar confirmed her promise by running the unbeaten Basadi Faith to 0,3 lengths. There was a yawning 3,70 length gap back to the classy True To Life. Furthermore, Tarry said Cavivar running inward might well have been crucial to the result. The Var filly now goes for the Grade 1 Allan Robertson. 

Chimichuri Run ran a fine third in the Grade 1`Computaform Sprint on Saturday and Tarry felt that if he had not hung in so badly he would have challenged for the win.

Legal Eagle (Liesl King)
Legal Eagle (Liesl King)

Trip To Heaven missed the break badly after being loaded early. Tarry felt he had run a great race and he will be heading for the Grade 1 Tsogo Sun Sprint along with Africa Rising, who has a preparation race today (Thursday).

Tarry said the Grade 1 Mercury Sprint would likely be the right race for the highly merit rated Chimichuri Run although he would still nominate him for the Tsogo Sprint.  

Bull Valley has been retired after his disappointing Computaform Sprint run and Gold Bowl last-placed Forest Express is a consideration for stud as she pulled up lame.

Green Plains ran a fine third with topweight in the Grade 2 Camellia Stakes over 1160m on Saturday after hitting “the front a little too soon”. She will go for the Grade 1 SA Fillies Sprint. 

He might also run Exquisite Touch in that race before retiring her to stud, pointing out her Camellia run was best ignored as she could not get a run.

He was disappointed with the enigmatic Desert Rhythm’s run in the Camellia but is considering a crack at the Tibouchina with this former Golden Slipper winner. 

Tarry started Saturday with a good win with Tree Tumbo, a progressive two-year-old colt by Silvano, and he said depending on how his next race or two goes the Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Stakes could be a consideration.

In the SA Nursery his pair Rock The Globe and Putontheredlight were unplaced but appeared to find the trip too sharp.

Tarry felt Liege had run a fair race in fifth in the Gold Bowl and the Gold Cup would now be a consideration.

Chariots Of Gold had a confidence boosting win on Tuesday and she might be a consideration for the Lonsdale Stirrup Cup, although his chief candidates for that race at this stage were Liege and Wonderous Climber.

Tarry’s three-year-old full-brother to Al Sahem, Al Mutawakel, made a fine winning debut over 1200 on Tuesday. He is obviously looking for further but the like of the Daily News 2000 would come too soon for him.

By David Thiselton