Just occasionally in racing, gilt edged opportunities make themselves available to you. In our humble opinion, here we most certainly have one in Legal History: An unbelievably well-bred and potentially, fabulously well handicapped Flat performer.
We've managed to purchase this unexposed, half-brother to PAKISTAN STAR, who recently won the 10f Group 1 Hong Kong QEII Cup and the 12f Group 1 Champions Cup, no less. Furthermore, the dam of both Pakistan Star and ourselves has also produced the listed winner NINAS TERZ. There's any amount of room for improvement still for this thoroughly unexposed, attractive 3yo son of the mighty Lawman. His trainer to date, Ed Walker believes he remains very well handicapped and we can see Legal History running really well in races on the flat such as the £100,000 Old Newton Cup next year at Haydock, a race we won in 2016 with Tawdeea, (another Tattersalls Horses-In-Training purchase, which is where we bought this horse.) You have to be rated well into the 90's to be capable of that, which is how much improvement we think he may have in hand. At the sale in Newmarket, we were pleasantly surprised to secure this horse for a final bid of 40,000gns; we thought he’d make a fair bit more. When an owner like the high-profile owner Mr P K Siu decides to send a horse to the sale, then the trainer has to comply-Ed would very happily have continued to train Legal History for next season and beyond. He was given plenty of time by his very astute trainer as a 2yo and Ed has kept him lightly raced as a 3yo, bringing him along nice and steadily. Having been gelded mid-season Ed reports him "recovering properly now from the gelding operation and I can see him improving no end as he does."
If he were to improve into an Old Newton Cup winner, or even a York Ebor winner, we could perfectly believe that. He has the looks and the genes, to do so. If he graduated into a black type performer on the flat, that wouldn't be a surprise either. He's out of a listed winning mare who is herself a daughter of the German Oaks winner Next Nina, a sister to German Derby winner Next Desert. Legal History is a real blue-blooded individual for whom the sky's the limit on the Flat.
However, what makes this particular horse such a gilt-edged opportunity, is that we've only told half the tale so far. Given he's a staying 3yo gelding and that his optimum distance could be anything from 10-14f on the Flat, he's absolutely cherry ripe for Juvenile Hurdling over obstacles this Winter and next Spring. If Ed Walker is even remotely correct about Legal History's untapped potential regarding his handicap mark on the Flat, then he has the potential to be really top class over hurdles. Physically, he's a super size for jumping, very strong, very well balanced and moves superbly well in his races. He's lucky enough to possess a fabulous, even striding, gait, which bodes fantastically well for the jumping game. Even from a Flat mark of 77 he has the talent to be a Saturday handicapper over jumps, but with just 7-10 lbs of improvement then he's a Spring Jumps Festival candidate come March and April. If he's a 90+ Flat horse in reality, as Ed is hinting he is, then he's definitely good enough to place in or win a Triumph Hurdle should he take to hurdling. Nobody ever knows which horses really take to jumping and which do not, but there is absolutely no reason why this horse in particular would not. As we've itemised above, he ticks all the boxes.
He's a genuine, dual purpose opportunity to achieve at the highest level, under both codes. As a horse who is laden with German genes, he is sure to get better and better with age and if he's not top class under one code, he could so easily be under the other. David Pipe is a fantastic trainer of a dual-purpose horse; perfectly exemplified by our very own horse JUNIOR no less, purchased for £35,000 by ourselves for David to train. He went on to be the only horse since the 1930's to win at both Royal Ascot (Ascot Stakes) and over obstacles at The Cheltenham Festivals (Kim Muir). He was a very special horse for MPR and David Pipe.
There's absolutely no reason why Legal History couldn't replicate the exploits of Junior. He represents 12 months a year action and he offers his syndicate, quite a unique ownership opportunity.