Sean Tarry is leaning towards Legal Eagle as his stable elect for the Vodacom Durban July on Saturday but he said it had not been an open and shut case.
Tarry also runs the G-Bets Summer Cup winner Tilbury Fort and dual Grade 1 winner Return Flight.
He said, “Legal Eagle is certainly the best handicapped of my trio and has had a good prep. He is in a good space. Lyle (Hewitson) does get on well with Tilbury Fort but he also gets on well with Legal and this is the first time he has had a good draw with Legal.”
Some have questioned Legal Eagle’s chances after his last run when finishing 8,75 lengths back in a Pinnacle.
However, while the finishing position was disappointing Tarry pointed out, “Bearing in mind he was drawn poorly carrying 61,5kg there was no choice but to drop him to the back. We expected a good pace to be set by two of our runners, but the pace was a mess. Despite that he still ran a very good last 400m. The time over the last 400m was the same as his win in the sprint at the beginning of the season. So once again he was doing his best work late.”
Tarry was thrilled when Tilbury Fort landed pole position. He said, “He needs a draw because he needs a smooth run, if you go forward with him and try and slot in it doesn’t work, he needs to find a position immediately and then sit.”
Tilbury Fort was in the same Pinnacle 1400m as Legal Eagle and also finished strongly.
In the Premier’s Champions Challenge Legal Eagle caught the eye finishing strongly for a 5,20 length fourth. Tilbury Fort was 16 lengths back that day but a line can be drawn through the run because he was widely drawn and became unsettled when hunting for a position. He was also cut into.
Raymond Danielson is aboard Tilbury Fort and Tarry said, “He has ridden him a few times and gets a reasonable tune out of him. He has had a good prep.”
Tarry said about the Grade 1 SA Fillies Classic and Grade 2 SA Oaks winner Return Flight, “Besides being crossed at the 300m and pulling a shoe, it wasn’t quite her run for some reason. The two fillies she had beaten in Johannesburg both ran in front of her and she did pull up with a little bit of dry mucus. So she might not have been quite right on the day. However, she has done well since then and has had a perfect prep. Her good draw of two will help. We are not going to be hunting to make the pace but if she does end up in the front that’s fine. If she doesn’t the 2200m is hard enough for her to be coming home strongly. Ryan Munger rode a big race for Yvette Bremner on National Park, he’s a good strong rider and has had a lot of winners this season.”
Legal Eagle carries 55kg, Tilbury Fort is officially half-a-kilogram under sufferance carrying 53kg and three-year-old Return Flight is officially 2kg under sufferance carrying 52kg.
In the Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes Tarry has two runners and said, “Celtic Sea is a big runner although I have healthy respect for Oh Susanna and Front And Centre.”
Tarry said a line could be drawn through Celtic Sea’s KRA Fillies Guineas run. Looking at her easy win over 1400m on the tough Turffontein Standside course in March he believed she would get the mile although he admitted it might stretch her.
He added, “Desert Rhythm ran a nice race in the Tibouchina so it’s worth taking a chance.”
Tarry believes his strongest race on the day is the Grade 2 Durban Golden Horseshoe over 1400m.
He said, “The extra 200m is definitely in Eden Roc’s favour, he has a good shout. Put On The Red Light is not out of it either, he found trouble over this trip last time and should have been closer. He will appreciate the Grade 1 mile at the end of this month, but I’m not worried about 1400m. Rock The Globe will also run a big race.”
In the Grade 2 Zulu Kingdom Explorer Golden Slipper over 1400m he also has two runners and said, “They both have poor draws. Cavivar will enjoy the trip and Lyle will ride the race as it unfolds. It might be a bit short for Victoria Paige but I hope she runs on in the straight.”
He said about the WSB 2200, “Zillzaal has a good shout. I would like to see him lying about three or four lengths back from his good draw. I think Shenanigans will run well, he’s had a nice prep and a lot is in his favour. Captain And Master ran well last time when stepped up to 1800m so we are giving him a chance. Silver God is 3,5kg under sufferance but was also under sufferance when running well in the WSB 1900 and Cup Trial. He can’t be judged on his last race which was on the poly.”
In the Grade 3 DSTv Gold Vase he runs Wonderous Climber and said his dip in form could have been expected as it was hard to keep a horse on the boil for so long. He expected a better showing but wondered whether 2400m was his better trip.
He expected Social Order to be a big runner, a nice “roughie” for the day, in the eighth over 1600m, an ideal course and distance.
He has always rated Mythical Bolt, who runs in the 11th over 1200m, but said this might be his last run before gelding.
By David Thiselton