Robinson eyes Vodacom Durban July

PUBLISHED: 12 March 2020

Roy's Riviera (Candiese Lenferna)

Frank Robinson is targeting his classy mare Roy’s Riviera at the Vodacom Durban July and is also looking forward to a feature campaign with his impressive debut winner Love Bomb.

Meanwhile, his versatile entire Roy Had Enough, who looked to be an Gold Cup contender this year, is likely out for the rest of the season due to a tendon injury he suffered down in Cape Town.

Robinson gave the Australian-bred All To Hard mare Roy’s Riviera a month’s break after her win in the Grade 3 Flamboyant Stakes over 1600m at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Boxing day, where she showed her usual fine turn of foot to mow down some good fillies like Vistula and Silent Crusade.

He is now building her up for the SA Champions Season.  

Roy's Riviera (Candiese Lenferna)
Roy’s Riviera (Candiese Lenferna)

Last year she put up some notable performances in the KZN winter, including a narrow third in the Kings Cup, winning the Listed East Coast Handicap over 2000m and fifth place finishes in both the Grade 3 Lonsdale and the Grade 2 Gold Bracelet.

In the last mentioned of those races she was caught three wide the whole way and yet was still only 1,20 lengths back at the line.

Robinson pointed out she had beaten Miyabi Gold in the East Coast Handicap (by 0,65 lengths when receiving 1,5kg) and the latter had gone on to finish fifth in the July.

He said, “She will come into the July with a light weight and I think she will be a massive runner as she stays well.”

Robinson was confident of two-year-old Love Bomb’s chances before her debut last Wednesday at Hollywoodbets Greyville. 

He pointed out she had jumped left in her barrier trial but had then made up a huge amount of ground in the straight. 

Her finishing position, a 6,45 length fourth to the useful three-year-old Dancing Feather, was no disgrace.

Nevertheless the bookmakers opened her at a generous 18/1, partly due to the presence of the Robbie Hill-trained Winter Whistle, who had done well in a barrier trial. 

In the race, over 1000m, on the poly, Love Bomb relaxed superbly at the back of the field and then took off at the top of the straight. It was soon race over and the strongly built filly crossed the line 4,30 lengths clear.

Robinson will either go the Grade 1 Allan Robertson route, which he is a bit reluctant to do as he said it was a very tough race, or he will aim her at the Grade 1 Golden Slipper over 1400m on July day and the Grade 1 Thekwini over 1600m on Gold Cup day.

Her dam Boloval, who is by Captain Al out of the Grade 3 Debutante Stakes winner Rambo’s Love, was bought for R500,000 at the National Yearling Sales in 2011 into the Herman Brown and Frank Robinson joint training operation. Robinson was left on his own in 2013 when Brown retired and after Boloval’s first three runs for a fourth, second and fifth he was able to purchase her from the original owner for R30,000 on behalf of Greg Whittaker and Gavin Wiggill.

In her first start for Greg and Gavin she won a maiden easily by 2,25 lengths over 1200m at Clairwood. 

Robinson recalled, “She won nicely and I thought she could go all the way. She was from quite a good family and was a monster, big and strong.” 

However, after one more run, she unfortunately rolled in her stable one day and fractured a hock.

Retired to stud, she was then sent to Mogok but dropped the foal mid-term. 

She was subsequently sent to Ideal World, where she once again dropped the foal.

However, she then finally had a full term pregnancy and gave birth to a filly by Oratorio.

The foal impressed Robinson from day one. 

He said, “From day one she was an absolute tank, a ball of muscle. I commented she looked like a ‘bomb’ and so we decided to call her Love Bomb.” 

In conformation she reminds Robinson of the Grade 1-winner he  helped train, Chocolicious, but her win last week reminded him of his good filly Olma, who had four wins and two seconds in six starts on the Greyville poly and was just as good on turf.

Greg Whitaker’s wife owns Love Bomb and her next start is being keenly anticipated. 

Meanwhile, Roy Had Enough will be given three months off. 

Robinson said tendon injuries were usually difficult to come back from but he pointed out on pedigree the Australian-bred by Pierro would make a good stallion as his grandam is a twice Group 1 winner, which included the Australian Oaks.  

By David Thiselton