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Picture: Sovereign State was an impressive winner at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Sunday and is one to follow.

Frank Robinson’s biggest owner Sid Moodley bought him 15 horses at both last year’s and this year’s big sales, meaning he acquired 30 horses from Sid in all, and the venture has made a perfect start with two wins from two runs.

On Sunday at Hollywoodbets Scottsville the first of the purchased batch to run, Sovereign State, produced an astonishing debut performance under Robert Khathi to beat what looked to be a top class maiden field.
Then today on the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly, the second of the batch to be turned out, Mexican Pete, also put in a fine winning performance on debut.
The 1200m event the Visionaire gelding Sovereign State took part in on Sunday had tongues wagging beforehand, because a number of horses arrived on course with bullish sentiments behind them.
The good looking bay was loaded quite early in stall three and seemed to fall asleep, because, having jumped well in his starting stalls tests at Summerveld, he walked out of the gates.
He officially lost three lengths.
At the halfway mark he was way out of his ground.
He then started making up ground.
Frank said, “I thought maybe he could run into a place and that’s a very good run after being left like that. But he was behind horses on the inside and I thought he’s not going to get a gap there. He then moved out and moved out and he ended up winning it! What I particularly liked about the run was if you watch the replay from the side on his ears are pricked forward, so he is doing it while looking at everything. He could be anything.”
The time was 57,07 seconds, which compared well with the 57,80 seconds of the fillies maiden on the day.
Jockey Robert Khathi said afterwards, “I’ve probably never ridden a horse who jumped so slowly over 1000m and still won the race. This was an impressive win.”
Robert landed the ride by chance.
He recalled, “I was working around the turn one day and Frank was coming to work with a couple of babies and said to me, ‘Hey don’t you want to sit on a horse for me and just feel him and tell me what you think.’ I came back from the work out and said ‘This will win first time out.’”
Robert galloped the horse later and Frank stuck with him for the race.
The favourite was the Garth Puller-trained Star Performer (What A Winter), who had finished a 1,10 length third to the smart Main Defender in a maiden in March over 1100m. He hadn’t run since, but Main Defender had gone on to win the BSA Sales Cup and finish second in a strong renewal of the Gr 1 World Pool Moment Of The Day Champion Stakes.
However, there had also been a lot of talk about a couple of first-timers.
Frank said, “Sean Veale worked my horse and said, ‘He is a class horse, very nice horse’, so I said, ‘What you riding there?’ and he said, ‘No, I’ve got to ride for De Kock and he will win.’ I also asked Tony (Rivalland) and he told me he had actually taken his horse to gallop at the course and he beat Coin Spinner in the gallop. So then I thought wow this is a strong field, it’s like a Smirnoff (Gold Medallion) field.”
Meanwhile Sovereign State had not lost one of his gallops and Frank added, “He has moved easily next to whoever he has galloped with.”
Mike de Kock’s runner Beamonesque is the Rafeef half-brother to the decent twice winner Aravidicio (Flower Alley), a twice Listed runner up and once Gr 3 runner up.
Tony Rivalland’s runner King Of The Gauls is by Vercingetorix out of a High Chaparral mare and he is a half-brother to Galla Vanting (Querari), who won a Gr 3 in just her second start.
Frank said, “I saw King Of The Gauls in the ring and he looked very well and he went to the start very well. I was worried looking at that horse. All of the other bombs went down well and when our horse went down he looked so out of tune, he was looking at everything. “
King Of The Gauls was prominent throughout after jumping to his left. Star Performer moved up well down the inside rail. However, Beamonesque moved up well on their outside and looked all over the winner.  However, he didn’t go through with it and Star Performer then took over the lead. However, he was nabbed late by the flying Sovereign State. King Of The Gauls did get cramped for room late and was only beaten 1,35 lengths in fourth place.”      
Frank said Sovereign State had come out of the race exceptionally well and reckoned his next race would tell how good he was.
He added, “If you look at him he is quite strong and I thought he would be more a sprinter, but when I looked at him the ring yesterday I was quite surprised because he looked more like a middle distance horse. I said to Sid he has got such good length, when you see him walk, and he stands over a lot of ground.”
Frank had liked the pedigree before the BSA November Sale and had loved the pictures of the horse. All of his positive sentiments were reinforced when he saw the horse ion the flesh. He was concerned he would go for a lot of money, especially when he had asked Glen Kotzen, who has done very well with Visionaires, about him and he had also liked him.
Therefore, he was shocked to land him for a mere R80,000.
Sid spent a lot at this year’s BSA National Yearling Sale on some lovely horses, but Frank always believed Sovereign State was just as good as the yard’s more expensive newcomers.
Robinson and Moodley can be excused for feeling excited about this horse.
By coincidence, today’s winner Mexican Pete went for exactly the same price of R80,000 at the same BSA November two-year-old sale.
Frank did not expect much of him as he views him as a Derby type and he did not have him at “a hundred percent” and he felt the weakness of the field might have helped.
Mexican Pete is by Master Of My Fate out of a Gitano Hernando mare who won twice from 1200m to 1600m and is a half-sister to Gr 3 Cape Fillies Nursery winner Hot Affair and to the useful five-time-winning Master Of My Fate gelding Mr Master Starter. That makes Mexican Pete a three-parts brother to Mr Master Starter and the latter’s wins have only come from 1200m to 1400m. However, Met winner La Fabulous is in the pedigree and both Master Of My Fate and Gitano Hernando were middle distance types.
Sovereign State is out of Fort Wood mare Maple Story, who won second time out beating a fair field and she only had one more run after that. Maple Story is in turn out of Listed-winning speedster Aquila Rapax (Western Winter). The third dam is Tawny Red, a half-sister to July winner Royal Chalice and dam of the like of Gr 1 winners Set Afire and Rudra and also dam of Nacarat, who was the dam of Gr 1 winners Nania and Red Ray and also of Gr 2 winner and Gr 1 runner up Brutal Force.
The Frank Robinson and Sid Moodley combination should be watched.