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Posted 2017-08-10 10:19:14  

Reigning Horse Of The Year Legal Eagle (Greys Inn) will be hoping to defend his title as South Africa’s Champion Older Male at Tuesday night’s Equus Awards next week.

The champion made six outings last season, winning four- including both the Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and Gr1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes (both of which Legal Eagle was winning for a second time). Legal Eagle, who downed champion Marinaresco (Silvano) when winning a thrilling Gr2 Green Point Stakes, also ran second in both the Gr1 Sun Met (while giving the winner 2.5kgs) and Gr1 Premier’s Champions Challenge.

Captain America (Captain Al) was recently named Cape Racing’s Horse Of The Year after a 2016-2017 campaign which saw the massive bay win both the Gr1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge and Gr3 Matchem Stakes. However, he was beaten by Legal Eagle in all of the Green Point Stakes, Queen’s Plate and Met which should make it hard for him to beat that rival here.

Now in Britain, Whisky Baron (Manhattan Rain) went unbeaten in five outings last season. After making an impressive winning seasonal debut over a mile, the Australian bred four-year-old thrashed Gr1 Investec Cape Derby hero It’s My Turn over 1500m, before landing an allowance plate over 1800m. He ended his South African campaign of 2016-2017 with a pair of graded wins, with Whisky Baron storming home to win the Gr2 Glorious Goodwood Peninsula Handicap and following up with a first Gr1 triumph, at the expense of Legal Eagle, when victorious in the inaugural Sun Met.

Marinaresco (Silvano) did his chances here no good with a dismal run in the Gr1 World Sports Betting Champions Cup but made a huge impression when landing the 2017 G1 Vodacom Durban July under topweight and before that had beaten a top class field when victorious in the Gr2 Independent on Saturday Drill Hall Stakes (beating subsequent Gr1 winners Captain America and Sail South) over a trip short of his best.




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