And we mean Basil Marcus, not the one-time Roman Emperor, Marcus Andronicus. Leading Cape trainer, Basil Marcus, had a great weekend with his Ready To Run graduates, his five runners earning themselves three victories and two seconds in Cape Town on Saturday.
First up was Pele Pele, a R140 000 buy on behalf of leading industrialist, Roy Eckstein, who only got going in the last 100 metres and won going away by ¾ of a length. He has just had a handful of starts, and this one looks like a more than progressive sort. If he had been entered for the event, he was a more than likely runner in the R500 000 Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Cup, due to be staged on the 3rd November at Turffontein.
His stablemate, Don’t Tell Titch, also belonging to Roy Eckstein and his long-time partner, Cecil Baitz, stole the laurels in the second race from yet another Summerhill graduate, Royal Racer, the property of Hong Kong resident, Andrew Yuen. These two drew well away from the field, showing their class over the extra furlong and here again, Don’t Tell Titch would’ve been a compelling entry in the Emperor’s Palace Cup, had he won his previous start, and his trainer Basil been in a position to plan things that way.
As if that wasn’t enough, Basil had Sbakhabakha engaged in the last on the card, and she came from last after turning for home very green, to mow the field down and win by ¾ length. Yet another Summerhill graduate for Marcus, Amaphupho ran his socks off to be second after also experiencing difficulties on the turn, and closing as quickly as anything on the day. This was a very encouraging run first time out of the maidens, as he had won his last start by 2 ¾ lengths. Basil has five highly promising three year olds from last year’s Summerhill draft, and he has a great deal to look forward to as the Cape season approaches. Speaking on Saturday evening, he says the foundation of his stable is based on his successes with Summerhill-breds, not forgetting of course that much of our own success dependant upon on what Basil does with the stock he takes home from us.
If anything emerges from Saturday’s events, it’s the advantage Basil gives himself (& by definition, his clients,) when he takes the trouble to come to Summerhill and ride the horses in advance of the Sale. He wasn’t a multiple Champion jockey for nothing, and his judgment is unerring, even though he never steps on them to any degree when he’s trying them out.
Don’t forget, the previous year, he bought Desert Links (of his admission, one of the best in the country this year,) and multiple Group/Stakes winner, Majestic Sun who was a Ready To Run graduate of the year before.