L'ORMARINS QUEEN'S PLATE (Grade 1)
Kenilworth, Turf, 1600m
Reigning Horse of the Year Legislate, fresh off a record-time victory in the Green Point Stakes, was all the rage at Kenilworth Saturday but suffered a shock defeat in the feature Grade 1 L'Ormarins Queen's Plate; proving the old adage that 'there is no such thing as a racing certainty'. The four-year-old turned for home in a prominent position but had nothing left coming up the home straight, crossing the line in the last spot.
The winner, and a worthy one at that, was his paternal half-brother Futura. He found himself at the tail-end of the small field as pacesetter Kingvoldt turned for home, but under a superb ride from jockey Bernard Fayd'Herbe, carved his way through the pack, hitting the front at the furlong mark and powering home to take the honours from Triple Crown Champion and Grade 1 Sansui Summer Cup winner Louis The King who, in his first run on the left-handed Kenilworth track, rallied late up the stand side rail to fly home for second. The seven-year-old Gold Onyx surprised in third. Bring on the J&B Met 31 January!
Fayd'Herbe said afterwards: "I dropped him in the back and I was always watching Legislate, who was about three horses in front of me on the rail, travelling quite hard. I thought, jeez, maybe I'll be able to catch him today. When we came into the straight my race just worked out perfectly. I managed to get a split behind Legislate, I followed him right through to about the 400m marker. I was expecting him to quicken up but he didn't. I had to switch in. What a great win. Futura is just such a fantastic horse to ride.”
Winning trainer Brett Crawford finally got it right after being a L'Ormarins Queen's Plate runner-up in the last two years and he said: "Futura has always been a class horse and he's only finding his own now. This is a race every trainer dreams about winning. I am looking forward to the Met in three weeks time!”
Legislate’s trainer Justin Snaith said later at the meeting: “Legislate looks like he pulled up fine. On his behalf, to all the people who follow him, we just hope everything is really okay and that he’ll be back to fight. It was very disappointing. We’ll have the vets look at him now, but he’s sound. It might be a little bit of a bug, but we’ll come back and fight another day.”
While the wheels came off for Legislate, Futura's victory came as no surprise for his connections; he has been a top class colt in his own right and they hold him in high esteem.
A close-up third behind Legislate and Wylie Hall in the Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July 5 July 2014, Futura closed out his sophomore season with a commanding victory in the Grade 1 Champions Cup at Greyville and on his seasonal debut in the Grade 2 Green Point Stakes, charged from last to finish an encouraging third.
Futura is now a dual Grade 1 winner of R1,850,075 and is yet another feather in the cap of his sire, former Horse of the Year and leading stallion Dynasty, who holds court at the Beck family's Highlands Farms.
Bred by Mauritzfontein Stud manager Guy Murdoch, Futura is the first foal of juvenile winner Scribblin' The Cat, who is inbred 3x3 to the full brothers and successful sires Thatching and Golden Thatch. She was bred by Cheveley Stud, as were her sire, multiple Grade 1 winner Badger's Drift and dam Winter Fox. Runner-up in the (then) Grade 3 SA Fillies Nursery as well as a number of Listed Stakes, Winter Fox counts amongst her siblings the accomplished racemare Angelina (Rakeen), winner of the Grade 1 Paddock Stakes, (then) Grade 2 SA Fillies Classic and (then) Grade 3 Gold Bracelet.
Scribblin' The Cat's next three foals are an unraced three-year-old filly by Miesque's Approval, a juvenile filly by Fort Wood, and a yearling colt by Ideal World.
Extracts from Racing South Africa