The Markus Jooste-owned pair Legal Eagle and The Conglomerate (AUS)will no longer be going overseas at the end of this month “barring a miracle” and the latter will therefore likely be on his way to Durban to defend his R4.25m, Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July (2000m) crown at Greyville on July 1st.
Jooste’s Mayfair Speculators racing manager Derek Brugman added Legal Eagle would likely defend his Grade 1 President’s Champions Challenge crown at Turffontein on May 6 and a decision on the rest of his program for the season would be taken thereafter.
The pair’s intended flight to the USA at the end of this month looks likely to have fallen through due to a lack of equine passengers to share the cost.
The Conglomerate, picture Liesl King
Legal Eagle found one better in the Sun Met for the second year in succession, while The Conglomerate’s unplaced run proved he was more suited to Grade 1's run under handicap-like conditions, such as the July.
Meanwhile, another star horse in the Mayfair Speculators fold, Table Bay, has the connections “flummoxed”. He finished a lacklustre sixth in the Grade 1 Investec Cape Derby over 2000m on Met day.
Brugman said it would be “ludicrous” to cite a lack of stamina as the simple explanation for his last three disappointing performances, particularly as the Derby was run at a crawl, although he did admittedly over race a bit. Soundness is also not an issue. There has not been a lack of effort to get to the bottom of his below par sequence and if a potential solution is agreed upon he will head for the SA Champions Season in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
The Grade 1 WSB Grand Parade Cape Guineas-winner Just Sensual finished a disappointing 6.85 length eleventh in the US$5 million CTS Mile on Met day, but Brugman confirmed the plan had definitely not been to take her to the front, as she had been by Frankie Dettori. She will be going to Durban and the R400,000, Grade 2 Daisy Fillies Guineas (1600m) on May 7th and the R1m, Grade 1 WFA Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes (1600m) on Durban July Day will likely be her chief targets.
Lady Of The House will be joining her in Durban. She was a touch disappointing in the Grade 1 Majorca, but the connections had always believed she would be a better filly later on. The R1m, Grade 1 Woolavington 2000 at Greyville on June 3rd will likely be her chief aim.
Dettori did ride a brilliant race on Edict Of Nantes to win the Cape Derby. A decision on where this horse goes will be decided after running him in the Winter Guineas at Kenilworth on April 23.
The future of William Longsword, winner of both the Grand Parade Cape Guineas and CTS 1600m, has not yet been finalised. Being retired to stud as a natural successor to his champion father Captain Al is a strong possibility.
Meanwhile, Grade 1 Mercury Sprint winner Red Ray, who finished an excellent third in the Grade 1 Betting World Cape Flying Championship over 1000m on Met Day, has been granted deserved retirement from racing. He will take up stud duties at the beginning of next season, although it has not yet been finalised where he will stand.