05/01/2018 16:14 SAST | Updated 06/01/2018 11:50 SAST

Queen's Plate Fest Kicks Off: Markus Jooste's Previous Horse Tipped To Win

Cape Town is the place to be this weekend


If you're a horseracing fan, Cape Town will be the place to be this weekend, as the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate Festival has already kicked off at Kenilworth Racecourse, climaxing in Saturday's big race.

All eyes will be on Legal Eagle, the horse that won the Queen's Plate in 2016 and 2017. If he triumphs again this year, the seven-year-old gelding will make history as only the second horse to win the Queen's Plate three times, as well as consecutively.

Pocket Power holds the record, after winning four consecutive Queen's Plates from 2006 to 2010.

Legal Eagle was previously owned by Markus Jooste, the disgraced former CEO of Steinhoff International Holdings who left office following accounting irregularities.

Read: Steinhoff CEO Resigns Amid 'Irregularity' Resignations

According to some horseracing fanatics currently at Kenilworth, the smart money is on Legal Eagle.

Speaking to HuffPost, Veronica Boshomane, who's attending the festival for the second time this year, said she won't be betting on any other horse.

"Why change a winning recipe? I trust that Legal Eagle will not let me down. Although I won't say how much I'm betting, I am backing Legal Eagle all the way," she said.

Leading South African bookmakers BET.co.za also have Legal Eagle as the odds-on favourite; a winning R1.00 bet will make punters a profit of just 80 cents.

Following closely are Captain America, Gold Standard and African Night Sky, all offered at an R8.00 return on a R1.00 bet.

Sports24 reports that Braam van Huyssteen, a businessman and passionate racehorse owner, bought Legal Eagle from Mayfair Speculators (Pty) Ltd (the company which deals with Jooste's horseracing interests) for an undisclosed sum following the Steinhoff scandal that prompted Jooste's resignation.

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: Markus Jooste, The Blonde And The Bantry Bay Flat

Come Saturday, the gelding will again be ridden by star jockey Anton Marcus, who has been in the stirrups for many of Legal Eagle's biggest wins. He has been drawn in stall number 2, a favourable jump-off that won't hurt his odds at all.

The feature race –– the R1.5-million Grade 1 L'Ormarins Queen's Plate over 1,600m –– is due to start at 4.40pm.

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