The curtain has finally been lowered on the harness racing career of the champion trotter Sovereignty.
Plagued by soundness and foot complaints for a major part of his career, Sovereignty has been a major player on the New Zealand trotting scene since he announced his arrival as a three year old with a stunning performance in the New Zealand Trotting Derby.
Sitting three wide for most of the last lap, Sovereignty only went under by a neck but then went on to dominate the three year classics with wins in the Great Northern Trotting Derby and the New Zealand Sires Stakes Final.
Sovereignty ended his three year old season with a stunning win by over 5 lengths in the Harness Jewels in 1:56.9 and was duly crowned 3 year old trotter of the year in New Zealand
Over the next six seasons, Sovereignty would race and beat the best around but was always under a cloud due to his soundness and feet issues.
Australians never got to see Sovereignty at his absolute best as he only made two trips there in his seven seasons on the track and although winless in seven starts in Australia, Sovereignty picked up $94,313 in stakes which gives you an insight into his class.
He was a constant in the Group One trotting races in New Zealand over those years with his half head second to Springbank Richard in the Dominion Handicap a highlight.
Owned and raced throughout his career by the legendary Hall Of Famer Charlie Hunter and his wife Annette, Sovereignty was purchased on their behalf at the Christchurch yearling sales by noted Cambridge trainer Sean McCaffrey.
He was trained throughout his career by Sean McCaffrey apart from a handful of starts for Greg and Nina Hope when a beach training regime was used to see if it helped him with his soundness issues.
One always felt that a fully sound Sovereignty would have been something special on the track and to achieve what he did with all his issues stamped him as a trotter of the highest class.
In all Sovereignty faced the starter 94 times for 28 wins and 34 placings for stakes of $780,386.
Sovereignty went out a winner at his last start in early April and that was an appropiate way to end what has been a stellar career.