3 Winners On Final Day of L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival
Things did not quite work out on opening day for Crawford Racing with Baroness Mary caving in late to be a close up third in the Jamaica Stakes, and then Earl Of Warwick suffering a hazardous passage for a tough beat second in the last race. But Saturday’s results were much more heartening with the stable notching a notable treble. Captain America and Sail South were also tremendous in defeat behind legendary miler, Legal Eagle in the Queen’s Plate, only succumbing by under a length.
At the line, Legal Eagle wore down Captain America and had just enough to hold off Copper Force along the inside, who finished a neck in front of Captain America. Sail South (SAF) finished fourth, just a head in front of Marinaresco (SAF) hitting the wire on the outside, with the first five finishers separated by about a length. The final time was 1:38.14.
Captain America tried to outrun rivals from the front and nearly lasted home. Sail South prefers to run from off the pace and he launched a bold rally. Both ultimately fell just short, but there is honour in giving the undisputed champ with a perfect 8 from 8 record over a mile and who was winning his third Queen’s Plate in a row, such a scare. A hearty congratulations must be sent to leading owner Braam Van Huyssteen who celebrated his first Gr1 after 10 years in the game, he bought a smart horse. The Crawford Stable are proud of the runners who did make a genuine effort to de-throne Legal Eagle.
Spring Man is developing into a smart middle distance performer. The older gelding Mister Colin was heavily punted to win, yet the three year-old son of Marchfield gave weight and a beating to the favourite. Spring Man has won twice from five starts, never failing to hit the frame, and looks to have a bright future.
"You better believe I was,” said winning rider Marcus when asked if he was concerned about Captain America’s margin down the stretch. Prior to the race Marcus and Tarry figured that Captain America would be on the lead and that “it would be decided in the final furlong.”- Anton Marcus
Our Emperor won the Grade 3 Chairman’s Cup under a smart hands ride from Greg Cheyne. It helped that the small field jogged around the track and turned the 3200m contest into less of a test of endurance, enabling the Dynasty gelding to outrun Master’s Eye. Our Emperor is a brave horse who has overcome physical adversity to compile a sterling record. He has now won four of ten starts and will probably have a dip at the Stayer’s race on SunMet day.
Phelan Lucky was the stable’s third winner. Skilfully handled by Corne Orffer, the chestnut son of Excelebration was turning back to the minimum distance after a series of places over 1200/1400m, whilst fitting first time blinkers may also have helped. Stable mate Kingston Passage ran third in this race carrying 59kg’s.
The two day festival was a well staged, high quality meeting which received wide international media coverage. So, for Crawford Racing to perform with distinction on these marquee days provides excellent exposure for Brett, Barry, Spider and their committed team. The next big meeting is the SunMet celebrated with G.H Mumm, only three weeks away, where the stable will be sending out primed runners specially teed up to give of their best.