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AS often happens, CTS’s successes come in Exactas and the finish of Saturday’s Campanajo 2200 (Gr3) was contested by Sovereign Spirit and Tristful, who both graduated from the 2017 Cape Premier Yearling Sale.


Sovereign Spirit was one of the ‘talking horses’ on Durban July day, a public favourite backed from 7-2 into 22-10 favourite from his good draw and handy weight. He didn’t let his fans down, moved up smartly from midfield to win full of confidence.


The runner-up gave a good account of himself, having just missed the final field for the July itself, and should win again soon as he is running near the top of his form.


Sovereign Spirit was earmarked for the July too and trainer Candice Bass-Robinson said: “Before lockdown we decided to go for the July but he was injured and had to box rest.


“He wasn’t going to come to Durban at all but he recovered quickly so we decided to send him and he had good prep runs. He’s taken his time to come to hand, but he was the best weighted horse in the race and we were quite confident about him today.”


Jockey Grant van Niekerk said that the slow pace didn’t suit Sovereign Spirit: “He was tugging, pulling hard but I managed to settle him at the 1200m mark. After that he actually quickened well and won a race full of merit.”


Sovereign Spirit is owned and was bred by Pieter Graaff’s Lammerskraal Stud. He is by Dynasty from Viva Maria (by Jet Master), who won the Gr1 Woolavington Stakes for the stud’s former owners.


Sovereign Spirit took his earnings after this win to R265 625. He has won three of 11 starts, and is unlikely to stop here.