Sovereign Nation has gone part of the way to repaying his new owners with an explosive win at Flemington.
Previously owned by Gerry Harvey, Sovereign Nation was bought by his new connections, including Mark Pilkington and Darren Thomas, following a third placing at Flemington in July.
Sent out the $2.35 favourite in Saturday’s VRC Member Graeme McMenamin Handicap, Sovereign Nation sprinted quickly under Regan Bayliss at the 300m mark to win by 4-1/4 lengths in front of Tally ($7.50), with Tried And Tired ($8.50) two lengths further back in third.
Lindsay Park co-trainer Tom Dabernig said the secret with Sovereign Nation was keeping him fresh.
The stable has a 1400m handicap at Caulfield on September 2 in mind for Sovereign Nation and the Group One Sir Rupert Clark Stakes (1400m) on October 1 is also a possibility.
“He loves being fresh and I think the 1400 metres, maybe up to a mile, is his best distance,” Dabernig said.
“We have been thinking that he could be a Group One style of handicap horse down in the weights.”
Bayliss said Sovereign Nation had been a “thinker” before his gelding operation.
“I rode him at his last start as a colt at Sandown and although he was a nice horse he didn’t know how to put a field away,” Bayliss said.
“Now that’s he’s come back a gelding he’s got that will to win and has had a faultless campaign.”