The Grade 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate to be run over 1600m at Kenilworth on Saturday 10 January for stakes of R1 million, has attracted a small but exclusive field headed up by Vodacom Durban July winner Legislate.
Following his smashing of the course record over this distance on the Kenilworth Old Course in the Grade 2 Green Point Stakes last month, the Justin Snaith-trained Legislate is likely to start short-priced favourite. He has every weapon in his armour, including pace, stamina, strength, temperament, balance, a fine action and a devastating turn of foot, so will be hard to beat.
South African Triple Crown Champion Louis The King is probably the most popular horse in the country, due to his rags-to-riches story, immense courage and loveable character. The Geoff Woodruff-trained colt has been beaten by Legislate over further, but those who remember the phenomenal burst of speed he displayed when annihilating a classy field in last season’s Gauteng Guineas will be predicting a famous victory on January 10 in the hands of the peerless Piere Strydom.
The Brett Crawford-trained Futura has a fine turn of foot and ran an eye-catching third in his seasonal reappearance in the Green Point Stakes. On the downside, he might prefer a touch further and has also had a slightly interrupted preparation.
Jet Explorer, stablemate to Legislate, would be a fairytale winner as he has come back from a smashed jaw caused when he was brought down in the Gold Challenge last June. He was unlucky in the Queen’s Plate last year when flying up late for third and looks to have enjoyed a perfect preparation.
Tellina, stablemate to Louis The King and also a former Gauteng Guineas winner, finished just 0,7 lengths behind last season’s Queen’s Plate winner Capetown Noir in the wfa Grade 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m at Turffontein last March, so has the necessary class.
Ashton Park has blossomed as a five-year-old in the typical fashion of a horse trained by the maestro Mike Bass and proved he can mix it with the best when finishing a surprise second in the Green Point Stakes.
The country’s best three-year-old Act Of War was the most disappointing absentee from the final field, but his stablemate Kingvoldt is only a couple of lengths behind him on form and will ensure that the trainer Joey Ramsden's three-year-old factor adds to the intrigue of the race.
Gold Onyx is a Grade 1 winner over this distance, but is getting on in years. Paterfamilias has only his second run in more than a year and will likely be better suited to the distance and conditions of the J&B Met.
L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (Grade 1)
Kenilworth, Turf, 1600m
10 January 2014
|1||LEGISLATE||60||117||2||R Fourie||Justin Snaith|
|2||LOUIS THE KING||60||116||4||P Strydom||Geoff Woodruff|
|3||FUTURA||60||113||9||B Fayd'Herbe||Brett Crawford|
|4||TELLINA||60||110||7||G Lerena||Geoff Woodruff|
|5||JET EXPLORER||60||109||3||S Cormack||Justin Snaith|
|6||ASHTON PARK||60||108||6||A Domeyer||Mike Bass|
|7||GOLD ONYX||60||205||1||G Behr||Sean Tarry|
|8||PATERFAMILIAS||60||104||8||G van Niekerk||Mike Bass|
|9||KINGVOLDT||55||113||5||K Neisius||Joey Ramsden|
Extracts from Gold Circle and Tab News