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Wylie Hall mare Star Choice became a six-time winner today having run unplaced in her first ten starts (Candiese Lenferna Photography)

Turf Talk

Frank Robinson’s kindness has been repaid by the seven-year-old Wylie Hall mare Star Choice, who became a six-time winner today.

The Summerveld trainer tells the story of this mare’s inseparable friendship with the yard’s Gr 2 winner Love Bomb, a friendship which ultimately saved the racing career of Star Choice.

The pair were initially on a stud farm together and were later together at Jill Fox’s pre-training farm at Nottingham Road.

When Frank brought them in he naturally put them in neighbouring boxes.

Star Choice is a year older than Love Bomb, but they made their respective debuts a month apart in early 2020.

They walk to the track together, work together and are just inseparable friends.

However, Love Bomb quickly made an impact on the track, winning the Gr 2 Zulu Kingdom Explorer Golden Slipper in her third career start, whereas Star Choice ran unplaced in her first ten starts.

During Covid-19 the original owner decided to throw in the towel with Star Choice.

Frank thought about taking over the ownership, but eventually decided against it and looked for a nice home for Star Choice.

A young girl who lived close to Summerveld was keen to take Star Choice home and do some showjumping with her and agreed to come and fetch her.

The float arrived to pick the horse up and reversed into the Robinson yard.

However, as Star Choice approached it she planted her legs together and refused to move.

She then became extremely agitated and began “screaming”.

Love Bomb responded by making the same bellowing noise.

It seemed the two friends knew something was up and they would never see each other again.

Frank’s heart melted and he told the new pending owner he would find another horse for her.

He took Star Choice back to her box. She and Love Bomb whinnied their approval of his decision.

Frank entered Star Choice soon thereafter. She was his only runner at a Hollywoodbets Scottsville meeting and as she was a no-hoper he avoided a long journey by asking Stuart Ferrie to saddle her for him.

It was her first run with Frank as owner.

However, it was as if she knew she had better improve her performance or risk being shipped out again and lo and behold she won at odds of 70/1!

That was about three years ago and today she ran on strongly from last over the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly to record her sixth career victory.

She has earned R432,750 in total, so has repaid the kindness to her trainer and owner Frank Robinson.

The amazing thing is when getting on a float to go to the races both Star Choice and Love Bomb are as calm as cucumbers.

The sixth sense of animals is always amazing to behold and they knew there was something different about the request for Star Choice to get on to that float that one day back in late 2020.

Star Choice won off a 69 merit rating today and could possibly add another win or two to her CV.