In January this year, trainer Brett Crawford and jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe won the Grade 1 R1 million L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate over 1,600m with the Dynasty colt, Futura. Delighted owners Ian Longmore, Jack Mitchell and John Freeman watched their horse come in first in front of a huge and festive crowd at Kenilworth.
The odds-on favourite, Legislate, was regarded as a Pick 6 banker by many, but was never really travelling well behind a slow pace and finished well back. However, sponsors Johann and Gaynor Rupert of L’Ormarins, in whose Drakenstein Stud colours Legislate runs, still had a great day as those colours had earlier finished first and third in the Grade 1 Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes. Furthermore, they bred the Paddock Stakes winner, the Mike Bass-trained Inara.
In the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, Futura, who started at 6/1, produced a strong finish from last place, but then had to fend off a late challenge from the Triple Crown and SANSUI Summer Cup hero, Louis the King, who is trained by Geoff Woodruff. The runner-up is from Gauteng and started 5/1 second favourite. Another Gauteng horse, the 33/1 outsider from the Sean Tarry yard, Gold Onyx, finished well for third. Futura was bred by Guy Murdoch and gave Crawford his first Queen’s Plate winner, deservedly, as he had finished second with Jackson in the last two runnings.
In the Paddock Stakes Inara started at odds of 20/1 and gave Grant van Niekerk his first Grade 1 winner. This improving filly gave a boost to the three-year-old fillies crop as she not only overcame the widest draw of all, but produced a devastating finish to deny the older horses.
The card attracted a lot of interest from the enthusiastic crowd who thoroughly enjoyed the mix of Thoroughbred sport and socialising. Kenilworth Racing announced that they were proud to have hosted such a successful day. The High Commissioner, Judith McGregor, presented the winning trophy of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and was lavish in her praise of the event.
Get your copy of the March issue (97) of HQ to see if you were “Seen At” the L’Ormarin Queen’s Plate