The Markus Jooste-owned pair, Legal Eagle and The Conglomerate, will no longer be going overseas at the end of this month “barring a miracle” and the latter will likely be on his way to Durban this winter to defend his Vodacom Durban July crown.
Jooste’s Mayfair Speculators racing manager Derek Brugman added that Legal Eagle would probably defend his Grade 1 Champions Challenge crown at Turffontein on 6 May and a decision on the rest of his programme for the season would be taken thereafter.
The pair’s intended flight to the USA at the end of this month seems to have fallen through due to a lack of equine passengers to share the cost.
Legal Eagle found one better in the Sun Met for the second year in succession, while The Conglomerate’s unplaced run proved he was more suited to Grade 1s run under handicap conditions, such as the July.
Meanwhile, another star horse in the Mayfair Speculators fold, Table Bay, has the connections “flummoxed”. He finished a lacklustre sixth in the Grade 1 Investec Cape Derby over 2000m on Met Day.
Brugman said it would be “ludicrous” to cite a lack of stamina as the simple explanation for his last three disappointing performances, particularly as the Derby was run at a crawl, although admittedly he did over-race a bit.
Soundness is also not an issue. There has not been a lack of effort to get to the bottom of his below-par sequence and if a potential solution is agreed upon he will head for the SA Champions Season in Durban.
Grade 1 WSB Grand Parade Cape Guineas winner Just Sensual finished a disappointing 6.85-length 11th in the $5-million CTS Mile on Met Day, but Brugman confirmed the plan had definitely not been to take her to the front, as she was by Frankie Dettori.
She will be going to Durban, with the Grade 2 Daisy Fillies Guineas and the Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes over 1600m as her chief targets.
Lady Of The House will be joining her in Durban. She was a touch disappointing in the Grade 1 Klawervlei Majorca Stakes, but her connections have always believed she will be a better filly later on. The Grade 1 Woolavington 2000 is her main aim.
Dettori did ride a brilliant race on Edict Of Nantes in the Cape Derby.
A decision on where this horse goes will be made after he runs in the Winter Guineas at Kenilworth on 23 April.
The future of William Longsword, winner of both the Grand Parade Cape Guineas and the CTS 1600m, has not been finalised. Being retired to stud as a natural successor to his champion father Captain Al is a strong possibility.
Meanwhile, Grade 1 Mercury Sprint winner Red Ray, who finished an excellent third in the Betting World Cape Flying Championship, has been retired. He will take up stud duties at the beginning of next season, although it has not yet been decided where he will stand. – Gold Circle.