Unbeaten Sovereign State being led in after his second career victory today (Candiese Lenferna Photography)
The Frank Robinson-trained Sandown Stud-bred Sovereign State confirmed his classic promise at Hollywoodbets Greyville today by winning the Sherrif’s Star Conditional Novice over 1600m despite carrying topweight.
The Visionaire gelding impressed on debut when coming from an impossible position to beat a hot field over 1000m at Hollywoodbets Scottsville.
He is out of a Fort Wood mare and his third dam is a half-sister to Durban July winner Royal Chalice, so Frank took the bold step of putting him over 1600m in just his second career start in today’s polytrack meeting at Hollywoodbets Greyville.
He was accorded a 92 merit rating after his debut and faced just four other runners today, including three other sophomores who were rated from 81 to 90.
Robert Khathi retained the ride and Sovereign State only went off as joint second favourite at 33/10 because the money came for Canford Ice, who when stepped up to 1600m in his fifth start won by 5,80 lengths.
Khathi initially relaxed the bay at the back of the field before switching him out to run one out and one back with cover.
Sovereign State was green in the straight but when asked to fetch the horse whoi looked the winner, Purpleninjaturtle, he stretched out to win by a neck.
Frank said, “I asked Robert to ride him confidently because he is a good horse, so he sat a bit quietly and he was also a bit green as well. But top horses can get away with it and he just had to give him one smack and he took off again, so you can’t ask for more than that. I haven’t done a lot with him since his last win, but he’s going to be a top horse I’m sure.”
Frank will give him one more run before taking him up to the Highveld to run in the Gr 3 Graham Beck Stakes over 1400m on October 28 and the Gr 2 Dingaans over 1600m on November 25.
Sovereign State is owned by a big supporter of the Robinson yard, Sid Moodley, and the latter also owns two other promising three-year-olds in Star Of The Future and Mexican Pete.
Mexican Pete won by 2,50 lengths on debut over 1400m on the Hollywoodbets Greyville poly.
However, Frank is particularly excited about Star Of The Future and said, “He ran second in a 1000 and he’s a Futura! One more stride he would have won. He’s a magnificent horse … big horse … strong horse … he could be anything.”
Sid Moodley has about 15 three-year-olds and 15 two-year-olds with Frank and the ones who have come out to date all look decent.
Frank said, “When you buy a lot of horses you can get some that are not too good, so thank goodness they all seem alright.”
Sid’s young string have made such a good start that the Robinson yard find themselves in joint second-place in the KZN Trainers championship with six wins achieved at a high strike rate of 37.50%.