Rosedene Stud’s resident sire Greys Inn made headlines on Saturday when his son Legal Eagle, officially South Africa’s highest rated thoroughbred and one of two runners in the race for his sire, won the G1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate at Kenilworth.
Winner of last year’s G1 SA Derby, when accounting for G2 Supreme Cup hero Deputy Jud and Equus Champion French Navy, Legal Eagle was expected to find the 1600m trip of Saturday’s R1 000 000 race on the sharp side, but instead showed his class in no uncertain fashion.
Given a superb ride by jockey Anton Marcus, Legal Eagle powered home to beat the Cheveley Stud bred former Horse Of The Year Legislate, with Wilgerbosdrift bred G1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas hero Noah From Goa with the Varsfontein Stud bred G1 H F Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes winner Captain America back in fourth.
It was a superb performance by the Avontuur bred colt, who has now won five of nine and earned over R2.29 million in prize money –a handsome return on the R425 000 shelled out to acquire Legal Eagle at the 2013 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale.
A first Queen’s Plate winner for trainer Sean Tarry, Legal Eagle is the second LQP winner for owners Ingrid and Markus Jooste, who were also successful with champion Variety Club back in 2013. The Queen’s Plate win was Legal Eagle’s fourth black type success, with his prior wins also including the G3 Jubilee Handicap and Listed SA Derby Trial.
Legal Eagle’s sire Greys Inn (one of more than 40 G1 winners for now deceased sire legend Zabeel) was an outstanding racehorse and Equus Champion 3YO Classic Male back in 2003, when his wins included the G1 Vodacom Durban July, G1 SA Classic and G1 SA Derby.
The sire (closely related to Saturday’s G1 Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes winner Smart Call) has also made his mark at stud, with Legal Eagle one of three G1 winners for the Karoo based sire. Greys Inn’s other top flight winners being G1 SA Derby winner Royal Bencher and G1 Rising Sun Challenge winner King Of Pain.
Greys Inn, whose progeny have earned more than R19.5 million, has a lot on both next week’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale and Val De Vie Sale next month.
His Premier Sale lot is a half brother to 3 winners including G3 Winter Classic winner Royal Dreamer, and from the wonderful Miss Lindeman family (Lot 167).
Greys Inn’s sole offering at the Val De Vie Sale is a filly whose winning dam is a half sister to Derby winner Central Pacific (Lot 96).