8 January 2018

Legal Eagle, one of the finest graduates sold off a BSA auction in many years, made history when he scored a courageous win in the G1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate at Kenilworth on Saturday.
The Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm bred six-year-old was winning the LQP for a third year running and is the first horse since Pocket Power to win the Queen’s Plate three years running.

Making his first outing for owners Braam Van Huyssteen (who was enjoying his first G1 win as an owner), William Henderson and Hedley McGrath, the dual Horse Of The Year, who hails from the barn of champion trainer Sean Tarry, showed plenty of heart as he dug down deep, under a strong ride from Anton Marcus, to peg back Captain America and post a 0.4 length win.

The 2018 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate was a total triumph for Bloodstock South Africa, with both the winner, and third placed finisher, Captain America, being sold off BSA auctions.

Winning rider Anton Marcus was ecstatic after the win saying, “He is one in a million! I anticipated that Captain America would stretch us – I also expected that the Snaith team would want a good pace. It’s a fine line with Captain America – you can’t move too late or too early! But I was sitting on a very special horse.”

Legal Eagle, who has now earned over R10 000 000 in prize money, was a R425 000 buy from the 2013 National Yearling Sale. He is a son of Equus Champion Greys Inn and the G2 placed National Emblem mare Young Sensation, who was also trained by Sean Tarry.

Saturday was another memorable day for BSA graduates. Not only did Legal Eagle win the R1 500 000 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, but Our Graduate and Eyes Wide Open, both former Bloodstock South Africa buys, landed the G3 Heineken Chairman’s Cup and G2 Glorious Goodwood Peninsula Handicap respectively.

Bred by Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein, and one of two winners on Saturday for Jet Master mare Express Queen, Our Emperor picked up the first feature win of his career when landing the Chairman’s Cup for trainer Brett Crawford, jockey Greg Cheyne, and owners Messrs Abery, Knowles, Ressell and Shirtliff.

Our Emperor, a R475 000 buy from the 2015 Val De Vie Yearling Sale, is another tremendous advert for the quality of horse sold at the Cape Yearling Sale, with the 2018 sale set to take place at Mistico on February 25th.

Last season’s G1 Premiers Champion Stakes winner Eyes Wide Open, an R850 000 buy from the 2016 Sibaya KZN Yearling Sale, showed his class on Saturday when defeating some high class older rivals in the G2 Peninsula Handicap and could now line up in either the G1 Investec Cape Derby or G1 Sun Met.

The three-year-old bay is trained by Glen Kotzen for owners Chrigor Stud and was ridden to victory by Anthony Andrews.

Both Our Emperor and Eyes Wide Open are sons of Highlands Stud’s outstanding sire Dynasty.