South Africa: Legal Eagle all the rage for Queen’s Plate

Legal Eagle: out to confirm Green Point placings with Marinaresco

PICTURE: The Equine Edge Legal Eagle all the rage for Queen's Plate By Michael Clower 7:00AM 7 JAN 2017

Preview: South Africa, Saturday 2.40pm GMT

Kenilworth: L'Ormarins Queen's Plate (Grade 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+

LAST year's winner Legal Eagle (Sean Tarry/Anton Marcus) has hardened to 4-5 (from 7-5) to confirm last month's Green Point placings, over the same course and distance, with Marinaresco (Candice Bass-Robinson/Grant van Niekerk) in the country's premier mile race.

Champion trainer Tarry, who has his horses in tremendous form, said: "Legal Eagle is fit and well but, having said that, we haven’t been that hard on him since the Green Point and we have a lot of respect for Marinaresco."

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Champions Cup winner Marinaresco was only beaten less than half a length in the Green Point and his trainer Bass-Robinson said: "Unfortunately he's again not drawn well and I don't think he is as good over a mile as he is over ten furlongs. Legal Eagle is hard to beat over this trip but we are going to give it a try."

Captain America (Brett Crawford/Corne Orffer), less than three lengths away when fourth last year, looks as good as ever on recent form, while The Conglomerate (Joey Ramsden/Piere Strydom) beat Marinaresco in the July and has been pleasing his trainer.

Ramsden said: "I worked him over a mile on the course last Saturday and it was probably the best bit of work he has ever done."

Legal Eagle certainly has the form to win but he is not favoured by the stats as four of the last five favourites have been beaten and it is six years since a five-year-old last won.

Also on Saturday

Kenilworth: Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes (Grade 1) 1m 1f, turf, 3yo+ f/m 2.00pm GMT

Woolavington winner Bela-Bela (Justin Snaith/Anton Marcus) got up close home on her reappearance over seven furlongs here last month when last season's Cape Fillies Guineas winner Silver Mountain (Candice Bass-Robinson/Grant van Neikerk) kept on well to take fourth.

Snaith said: "Bela-Bela needed that last run but she has been doing very well since. My other runner Star Express [Piere Strydom] is a very good filly and she will be right there."

Silver Mountain has never been further than a mile and her trainer is not sure that she will get this extra furlong, while Safe Harbour (Sean Tarry/Weichong Marwing) was only just touched off in last month's Cape Fillies Guineas.

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