Legal Eagle was voted Equus Horse of the Year for the second year running at a glittering function held at Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg last night.
Legal Eagle, owned by Mayfair Speculators, who were once again the country’s leading owners, and bred by Avontuur Stud, faced some stern opposition from the likes of Sun Met winner Whisky Baron, Vodacom Durban July winner Marinaresco and the mare Carry On Alice.
However, Legal Eagle’s victories in the Gr1 L’Ormarins Queens Plate and Gr1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes, plus runner-up berths in the Gr1 Sun Met and Gr1 Premier’s Champion’s Challenge carried the day. Legal Eagle was also voted Champion Miler and Champion Older Male, which further enhanced his credentials.
Carry On Alice, a winner of a Grade 1 in every season she races, finally got just rewards being voted Champion Sprinter and Champion Older Female.
The voting panel comprised of Andrew Harrison, Matthew Lips, Jason Dedekind, Roger Smith, Michael Clower and RA chairman Larry Wainstein as non-voting chairperson. There were a couple of dead-heats in the voting and Wainstein had a casting vote.
The main racing awards were:
Champion Two-year-old Colt – distance immaterial: Mustaaqeem.
Champion Two-year-old Filly – distance immaterial: Lady In Black
Champion Three-year-old Colt – distance immaterial: Edict Of Nantes.
Champion Three-year-old Filly – distance immaterial: Just Sensual.
Champion Older Male – distance immaterial: Legal Eagle.
Champion Older Filly/Mare – distance immaterial: Carry On Alice.
Champion Sprinter – (1000 – 1200m; age/gender immaterial): Carry On Alice.
Champion Miler – (1400 – 1600; age/gender immaterial): Legal Eagle.
Champion Middle Distance – (1800 – 2200; age/gender immaterial): Legal Eagle, Marinaresco, Whisky Baron
Champion Stayer – (2400 and up; age/gender immaterial): Al Sahem, Hermoso Mundo
The awards are based on graded races and in particular Gr 1 races.
Champion Apprentice: Lyle Hewtiston
Champion Jockey: Anthony Delpech
Champion Owner (based on stakes earned): Mayfair Speculators
Champion Trainer (based on stakes earned): Sean Tarry
Horse of the Year Award: Legal Eagle