Jack Milner
4 minute read
2 May 2018
12:55 pm

A ‘Nother’ Eagle clash

Jack Milner

Abashiri putting in good work at home.

PLAY IT AGAIN: Deo Juvente, middle, beats Legal Eagle, right, and Nother Russia in the 2017 Premier’s Champions Challenge. The trio meet again on Saturday. Picture: JC Photographics

The next mouth-watering meeting between Legal Eagle and Nother Russia is all set to take place in the R4-million Premier’s Champion Challenge over 2000m at Turffontein on Saturday.

The Champions Challenge is one of three Grade 1 races to be run on Champions Day when racing will take place on the Stand-side track. The others are the R2-million SA Derby over 2450m for three-year-olds and the R1- million Computaform Sprint over 1000m.

Legal Eagle is by far the best handicapped runner and has at least a 4kg weight advantage over his rivals. Next best are a group of fillies and mares. Second best jointly are Nother Russia and Silvan Star with Fort Ember next best at a further 1kg disadvantage.

The question these days is whether Legal Eagle stays a stiff 2000m. Last year he was touched off by Deo Juvente with Nother Russia in third.

On Classic Day Legal Eagle and Nother Russia met in in the Grade 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chest- nut Stakes over 1600m, a distance over which Legal Eagle is unbeaten in eight starts, and she ran him to a neck.

He has not run since but Nother Russia did contest the Grade 1 HSH Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes over 1600m last weekend where she took o late to beat Al Danza by 0.40 lengths.

Trainer Sean Tarry has no doubt his charge will stay the 2000m and points out he did win the Derby as a three-year-old over 2450m in the wet. He also won this race two years ago and was just touched o last year.

“He’s very well right now and I’m delighted he’ll jump from No 4 draw,” said Tarry last week. “And he will stay.”

Mike de Kock, however, believes his charge will give Legal Eagle a run for his money. “No question he is the horse they all have to beat. One of the things I like about Nother Russia is she never gives up.”

He admitted that having her fourth race in the space of six weeks could be a problem but she has come through her last two wins very well. “She battled in the last one over 1600m but I don’t see any problem with 2000m.

“I think she’s a lot better than she was last year but she will have to give some horses weight this time. Silvan Star was just 1.70 lengths behind her last week and is now 2kg better off.”

Nother Russia jumps from No 6 barrier position.

Abashiri’s last victory was at this meeting two years back when he won the SA Derby and captured the Triple Crown. “He’s putting in some good work at home and we’re expecting a decent run,” said trainer Mike Azzie.

Fields for the other races will be finalised on Monday.

Final eld for the R4-million Premier’s Champions Challenge (Grade 1)(Weight-for- Age) over 2000m.

1 – 4 LEGAL EAGLE (S G Tarry) A Marcus 60.0 – 125; 2 – 8 DEO JUVENTE (G V Woodruff) C Murray 60.0 – 112; 3 – 7 CORAL FEVER (R R Sage) M Yeni 59.0 – 110; 4 – 12 BRAZUCA (J J van Vu- uren) …………… 59.0 – 104; 5 – 5 ABASHIRI (M/A Azzie) C Or er 58.0 – 109; 6 – 9 GLIDER PILOT (T Zackey) K Zechner 58.0 – 106; 7 – 11 FRENCH NAVY (S G Tarry) R Danielson 58.0 – 104; 8 – 3 DAWN ASSAULT (S J Gray) M V’Rensburg 58.0 – 103; 9 – 6 NOTHER RUSSIA (M F De Kock) C Zackey 57.5 – 112; 10 – 1 ORCHID ISLAND (M F De Kock) A Domeyer 57.5 – 107; 11 – 13 FORT EMBER (P A Peter) K de Melo 56.5 – 108; 12 – 10 SILVAN STAR (G S Kotzen) R Fourie 55.5 – 108; 13 – 2 SAFE HARBOUR (S G Tarry) L Hewitson 55.5 – 105

Same Trainer: (1,7,13) (9,10).

Final eld for the R2-million SA Derby (Grade 1) over 2450m.

1 – 10 SURCHARGE (S T Pe igrew) P Strydom 60.0-110;2-14LIKEAPANTHER(MFDeKock) C Murray 60.0 – 106; 3 – 2 NOBLE SECRET (M F De Kock) R Simons 60.0 – 106; 4 – 5 MAJESTIC MAMBO (P A Peter) A Marcus 60.0 – 104; 5 – 3 ROYAL CRUSADE (M F De Kock) M Yeni 60.0 – 101; 6 – 13 CASH TIME (A B Fortune) A Domeyer 60.0 – 96; 7 – 9 SILVER GOD (S G Tarry) R Dan-

ielson 60.0 – 93; 8 – 6 THE ROCKETMAN (M/A Azzie) C Zackey 60.0 – 92; 9 – 8 GAMBADO (A G Laird) R Fourie 60.0 – 88; 10 – 1 HERO’S HONOUR (G M Alexander) M Khan 60.0 – 88; 11 – 4 WALTER SMOOTHIE (S T Pettigrew) M V’Rensburg 60.0 – 88; 12 – 7 FORAFEWDOLLARSMORE (S G Tarry) L Hewitson 60.0 – 84; 13 – 12 THRONG (S G Tarry) S Khumalo 60.0 – 82; 14 – 11 GREENWOOD DRIVE (R R Sage) G Wrogemann 60.0 – 78

Same Trainer: (1,11) (2,3,5) (7,12,13)

Final eld for the R1-million Computaform Sprint (Grade 1) over 1000m.

1 – 4 SERGEANT HARDY (S J Snaith) B Fayd’Herbe 60.0 – 123; 2 – 14 BISHOP’S BOUNTY (S J Snaith) G van Niekerk 60.0 – 117; 3 – 8 TRIP TO HEAVEN (S G Tarry) S Khumalo 60.0 – 117; 4 – 11 CHAMPAGNE HAZE (G M Alexander) M Khan 60.0 – 115; 5 – 13 ATTENBOROUGH (J Ramsden) R Fourie 60.0 – 110; 6 – 10 ROCKY VALLEY (C Daw- son) G Wrogemann 60.0 – 107; 7 – 6 GRADUA- TION DAY (J A Soma) R Danielson 60.0 – 101; 8 – 2 GOLDEN MAN (G J Maroun) K Zechner 60.0 – 88; 9 – 16 NAAFER (M F De Kock) M Yeni 58.5 – 113; 10 – 7 PINNACLE PEAK (D Sham) C Zackey 58.5 – 103; 11 – 12 REBEL’S CHAMP (P A Peter) A Domeyer 58.5 – 99; 12 – 1 DOWN TO ZERO (M/A Azzie) C Or er 58.5 – 98; 13 – 9 SPEEDPOINT (J Ramden) C Murray 58.5 – 98; 14 – 5 EXQUISITE TOUCH (S G Tarry) L Hewitson 57.5 – 112; 15 – 3 WRECKING BALL (G J Maroun) R Munger 57.5 – 104; 16 – 15 QUEEN LAURIE (G J Maroun) C Maujean 57.5 – 95

Same Trainer: (1,2) (3,14) (5,13) (8,15,16)