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King Of The Gauls, who runs in  the colours of Robert Bloomberg, cruises in under Richard Fourie to give himself, trainer Tony Rivalland and part-owner Mary Liley a double together. Fourie went on to score a treble (Picture: Candiese Lenferna)

One of the hottest maiden races this season so far has been the one at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on August 13 over 1000m won by Sovereign State, who was making his debut.

The favourite for that race was the Tony Rivalland-trained Vercingetorix cold King Of The Gauls.

He arrived with a a lot of talk about him and had obviously had the dogs barking at home.

He only managed a 1,35 length fourth that day, but it became apparent both before and after the race that the two first-timers who beat him, the winner Sovereign State and third-placed Beamonesque, had also been held in high regard.

Sovereign State, who was given a 92 merit rating after that debut win, then followed up with an eye catching win over 1600m on the Hollywoodbets Greyville polytrack when carrying topweight in a conditional novice.

Yesterday (Sunday) it was King Of The Gauls turn to frank the form.  

He drifted out to odds of 83/100, in the face of support for the Stuart Ferrie-trained Var colt Teatime Tipple, but he showed pace throughout under Richard Fourie and won by a comfortable 2,30 lengths after being given just a couple of backhanders in the final 200 metres.

The colt is owned by Robert Bloomberg and Mary Liley.

Rivalland said in the post race interview, “Beautiful little horse, not a big horse but a strong horse. He is built like a sprinter, but he is by Vercingetorix out of a High Chaparral mare, so strictly speaking there is no reason he shouldn’t go ten furlongs. He’s a little bit of a soft horse strangely enough. His shins have worried him a little bit and it’s been quite difficult to manage him, because he is quite a boisterous horse. He is not a mad horse, but has got this most wonderful personality, naughty and mischievous. Hopefully he will mature a bit. I am obviously delighted for Robert Bloomberg. He is one of my oldest mates and he’s raced with me many times. He stopped racing for a while and then he said let’s buy a few horses and of course Mary is my stalwart client. So it’s wonderful and to give yourself a chance in this game it helps to buy pedigree. The Vercingetorix’s, the Gimmethegreenlights, the Rafeefs, the Danon Platina’s, those stallions of that ilk you give yourself a chance of getting good horses, not to say that other stallions don’t fly under the radar and produce good horses. But it’s not easy to buy these well-bred horses, so I’m delighted for Mary and Robert that it’s coming together. I think we have a future with him.” 

The Main Chance Farms-bred colt was bought for R700,000 at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale of 2022. He is out of the Australian-bred High Chaparral mare Grande Roche, who won easily on debut for Geoff Woodruff over 1200m, before running a close up place over 1600m and then being retired after just one further unplaced run over 1200m.

The purchase of King Of The Gauls in January 2022 was boosted just a couple of months later when his Querari half-sister won on debut over 1000m and followed up by winning the Gr 3 Pretty Polly Stakes over 1100m at Turffontein Standside.

On the downside, Galla Vanting, has been unplaced in six further starts after being purchased in training and moved to a new yard. In her latest effort she was beaten 5,40 lengths off a 74 merit rating, having been rated 101 after her Gr 3 win.

However, King Of The Gauls is a completely different type to the small Galla Vanting, so should continue to progress.

Rivalland, Liley and Richard Fourie had a double at yesterday’s Hollywoodbets Scottsville meeting, because earlier the first-timer Strathclyde, who is also a three-year colt by Vercingetorix, won on debut over 1200m after being backed in from 10/1 to 28/10.