basil marcus
Basil Marcus - Master Ready To Run Selector
(Summerhill Stud/Grant Norval) 

While all the world was supposedly crashing around us, one man who remains completely impervious is former multiple champion jockey, Basil Marcus, now one of the nation’s leading trainers. Basil decided some years back that newspapers were not his interest in life, as they only serve to depress the indomitable spirit, and so he gets his information from his son, Glen, who is apparently a mine of news, views, handicapping information and world-wide happenings.

At the prompting of his new mega-patrons, Dennis and Gail Evans, Basil joined the throng of visitors to Summerhill (either in person or through our Ready To Run website) when he turned up on Sunday evening, wife Debbie in tow and the Evans on board. There is nobody more meticulous than Basil when it comes to selecting horses, and we know of no-one who works harder. Over three days, he’s sifted his way through the candidates for the Ready To Run, volunteering at the end that this was one of the best drafts of horses he’d seen anywhere.

Of course, Basil has enjoyed great success with his Ready To Run graduates in the form of recent Canon Gold Cup Gr.1 hero, DESERT LINKS, and eight time multiple Group winner, MAJESTIC SUN, to name two, so this is a fertile hunting ground for him and his patrons.

In between looking at horses, the foursome relaxed in the company of our team and there was plenty of humour around the meal tables, especially when it comes to Basil’s prowess as a golfer.

Shortly after giving up life in the saddle, he decided that as a world-class athlete, anything was possible, and he wondered if he could make a living as a golf pro. He kitted himself with everything in creation, including the best clubs, the smartest kit and the finest of coaches, and it’s a badly kept secret in the Marcus household these days, that if golf was about slices and hooks, Basil would be a scratch handicapper! They’d also be a hungry family if they’d have to look to his golf to keep the bread on the table.

Never mind Bas, you’re a consummate horseman and an outstanding trainer, and at the end of the day, one of South African racing’s greatest ambassadors.