IN NOVEMBER 1992 in a speech at the Guildhall, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth said the previous 11 months had been her “annus horribilis” — a horrible year.
Many-times champion breeder Mick Goss probably feels the same way about 2016. During a visit to Asia in January, he contracted a serious illness that he is still battling.
However, Goss has pulled a few rabbits out of the hat in his many years in the breeding game and his Summerhill Stud has announced another coup for the Mooi River-based operation.
In a deal with owner Markus Jooste, Summerhill will stand one of the Stenhoff boss’s champions, Act Of War.
The arrangement brings a superbly performed son of Dynasty — he won eight races and six on the trot — to KwaZulu-Natal and is a confidence-booster for the breeding industry in the province. The deal comes only a few weeks after Summerhill sold their stallion Visionaire to Lammerskraal Stud.
We are getting to resemble the English Premier League’s managerial changes with our stallion transfers!
If he owned a mare, there is no doubt top jockey Piere Strydom would send her to Act Of War.
As a three-year-old, the Joe Ramsden inmate was ridden to victory by Strydom in the grade1 Cape Guineas to bring up the 5,000th winner of his career.
Anton Marcus was Act Of War’s regular pilot and he has no doubt that the horse was something special. “Not only was he the best miler of his generation, he was also one of the best milers I have ridden,” Marcus said.
“Genuine, exactly the horse to go to war with,” he added.
Racing fans were hoping to see Act Of War compete in the big races during the Durban season, but a suspensory injury dashed those hopes.
Derek Brugman, racing manager for Jooste, has no doubt Act Of War will be a success at stud.
“He was something special from day one,” Brugman said.
“Horses that work like he did in the mornings, leave no uncertainty about their ability. He is sure to pass his precocity, class and great temperament on to his offspring.”