TRUE champions make horse racing look easy, to use racing’s adage, “like pushing buttons”.
Sometimes it’s just a question of repeating the things that work, and champion trainer Sean Tarry has it all figured out with Horse Of The Year Legal Eagle, who won his second successive Gr1 Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m at Turffontein on Saturday and is likely to be aimed at defending a further title in the Gr1 Champion’s Challenge at this course, and at this time next month.
In looking at the rest of the year – and of course Tarry will be the first to dispute that racing is about pushing buttons – title defences and serious loot also await the long-striding star in the Gr2 Green Point Stakes and the Gr1 Queen’s Plate.
The familiar, relaxed manner in which Legal Eagle disposed of his rivals on Saturday showed that he is at the same level of health and well-being that brought him that string of treasures once, and off the cuff it’s impossible to come up with a name that will stand in the way of another glorious winning roll.
The race went as follows: Legal Eagle took it up from the widest of draws under Anton Marcus. He dictated matters in front with his relentless cruising speed. He changed gears at the 400m-mark. He won.
Marcus commented: “This is a moment to cherish. He is something special. I am elated. It’s not every day one finds a horse like this.”
This was a sixth career Gr1 victory for Legal Eagle, who races for Markus Jooste’s Mayfair Speculators. “We are blessed and privileged to own a horse like this. He won’t stop here,” said Derek Brugman, Mayfair’s nominee.