Jack Milner
2 minute read
10 Dec 2015
7:09 am

Eagle is back in flight

Jack Milner

Flying The Flag looks the only danger.

Legal Eagle will make his seasonal debut at Turffontein today and begin his preparation for the next year’s J&B Met.

Sean Tarry’s charge has not raced since this year’s Vodacom Durban July in which he went off as favourite. The son of Greys Inn will contest Race 3, an Allowance Plate over 1800m on the Inside track where he is the highest rated runner in the field by quite a long way.

Had this been a handicap he would have had to give the second-best weighted runner, Bezanova, 6.5kg. Under the race conditions Bezanova has to give Legal Eagle 2kg, which indicates just how well handicapped Tarry’s charge is for this event.

The second best handicapped runner is Flying The Flag from the Mike de Kock yard and the Irish-bred import is 4kg under sufferance with Legal Eagle. Add to that the fact Anton Marcus is coming to Joburg for the ride, and Legal Eagle looks a stand-out bet on paper, at least.

He should win but there needs to be a few words of caution. While Tarry does not bring unfit horses to the racetrack, there is still a possibility Legal Eagle could be a little ring rusty and could be in need of a run. Secondly, there has to be a question mark as to whether he will enjoy the Inside track. He is a long-striding horse who is far better on a galloping course and that could have been one of the reasons for his defeat in the Durban July. Greyville, with its short straight, did not suit him.

The only problem is that if someone is to beat him, who would it be? The only runner who should be fit enough and talented enough to pull off the upset is Flying The Flag.  Johnny Geroudis, who rode this horse to victory in Dubai, has a very high regard for the six-year-old Galileo entire, as has De Kock.

He moved up quickly to hit the front at 400m mark in the SANSUI Summer Cup but De Kock felt jockey Anthony Delpech may have triggered the switch a little too early. In the end Flying The Flag had nothing left and just faded out to finish 7.55 lengths behind Master Sabina.

An upset looks unlikely at the weights but Flying The Flag could just have found the right day to race against Legal Eagle so if you feel you need back up in the BiPot, De Kock’s charge could be the one with whom to go.

Of the balance, Alec Laird’s coupling of Bezanova and Earl Of Derby could fill the minor positions.