Cape Town - The Grade 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate will live up to its high class billing on Saturday, January 9 at Kenilworth as a vintage line-up was revealed on Wednesday.
Topping the list are the Justin Snaith-trained stablemates Futura and Legislate, who have both won four Grade 1’s apiece, and the tally in their four clashes to date stands at 2-2. Futura will attempt to retain his crown, while Legislate will be out to make amends for last year when failing as odds-on favourite.
The Joey Ramsden-trained Act Of War, winner of last season’s Grade 2 Selangor Cup and Grade 1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas among other races, will be out to prove himself the best miler in the land and his last run, when finishing fourth behind Captain America, Futura and Paterfamilias in the Grade 2 Lanzerac Alta Mater Green Point Stakes over this distance, can be virtually ignored as he was caught behind a slow pace.
Green Point Stakes winner Captain America has won a weight for age Grade 1 mile before and loves Kenilworth. He will have a fine chance of retaining the Queen’s Plate for the Brett Crawford yard, as the latter was trainer of Futura at this time last year.
The Grand Parade Cape Guineas winner, the Mike de Kock-trained Noah From Goa, is courageous and ever improving and could attempt to become only the second three-year-old in the last 40 odd years to win the Queen’s Plate.
The highest rated runner in the race will be the Sean Tarry-trained Legal Eagle and with the J&B Met as his chief target he could be dangerous here over a trip short of his optimum.
His stablemate Gold Onyx is an evergreen eight-year-old who went close last year and he showed his well being last time out when second in the Grade 2 Premier Trophy over 1 800m to Paterfamilias.
The race has attracted Durban July winner Power King and Sansui Summer Cup winner, Master Sabina.
The Alec Laird-trained Bouclette Top has been a revelation since blinkers were applied just under a year ago and he was an impressive winner of the Grade 2 Peermont Emperor’s Palace Charity Mile, so he could be the dark horse.
The Ramsden-trained King Of Pain beat the best milers in the country when winning the Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge two seasons ago and he can’t be written off.
The Snaith-trained Heartland is starting to live up to his reputation too, while all of the other runners are worthy contenders and could all earn a cheque.
The draw was all important and Power King landed pole position, while Futura drew 2, Legislate is drawn 6, Act Of War is in barrier position 11 and Captain America landed draw 10.
A top class field was announced too for the Grade 1 Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes over 1 800m, headed by Grade 1 winners Same Jurisdiction, Smart Call, Inara and Pine Princess. Inara will be attempting to retain her crown, albeit from a wide draw.