“His last run was a prep run and he has lost all of his last three runs over 1400m,” said De Kock. “It’s not that he ran a shocker, he was only beaten 0.50 lengths.
“This is his best distance, he gets the full weight-for-age allowance and he is very well.”
The rematch between Soqrat and Legal Eagle looks to be the highlight of the day. The two meet in a race that has been dominated by Sean Tarry-trained Legal Eagle for the past three years. Remarkably, this son of Greys Inn was unbeaten in 10 runs over 1600m.
However, that all changed at Cape Town in January in the Grade 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate.
Soqrat showed his class with a victory in the Grade 1 Cape Guineas and then trainer Mike de Kock threw him in at the deep end and he took on the best in the country in what was being called the “race of the century”.
Soqrat hit the front at the 200m mark, looking all over a winner, but he was snared just short of the line by Do It Again. Legal Eagle could only finish fourth, ending 3.75 lengths behind Soqrat.
That led many pundits to say that Tarry’s charge was past his best but Legal Eagle ran well enough in the Sun Met over 2000m when beaten just 2.25 lengths behind Rainbow Bridge.
On paper, though, Soqrat should have the edge again. There were 3.75 lengths separating them last time but Legal Eagle is 2kg better off on this occasion.
Stable companion to Soqrat, Cascapedia nudged him out of second place in the Hawaii Stakes and she is also in this field. She is another who does well when she runs against the boys and gets her sex allowance but is now 1kg worse off with Soqrat for a 0.20-length advantage.
“Cascapedia ran a really nice race last time,” said Mathew, “but she is still preparing for the Empress Club Stakes next month. If she runs in the first three, or even fourth, we’ll be very happy.”
Zouaves will also battle to confirm the form as he is now 2kg worse off with Soqrat and has yet to win over 1600m.