Great little soldier!

MATHEW de Kock celebrates his 27th birthday on Sunday and it’s more or less at the right time to raise a glass also the purchase of his Onamission Syndicate’s first runner, Puget Sound, who made it four from 13 with a stunning victory at the Vaal on Thursday.

Puget Sound has won over 1000m, 1450m and 2000m and added a 1600m victory to his versatile record, once again showing the guts and heart that have endeared him to a large group of syndicate members who will undoubtedly make him a ‘cult horse’ in years to come – the game little gelding who started it all!

Puget Sound, start-to-finish for Ryan Munger.

Puget Sound, start-to-finish for Ryan Munger.

When Mike de Kock signed for Puget Sound at the potent 2016 CTS Ready To Run Sale held at Randjesfontein it was a very wet, rainy night – one to remember as Mike commented to friends around his table, ‘I’ve found a real plum here for R120,000!’ and there were a few sceptics who thought his early praise of a fairly ordinary looking two-year-old by Sail From Seattle was perhaps due to a glass of wine too many.

But Mike was right, as he normally is, and he decided to give Puget Sound as a first option to the syndicate, which includes owners from the USA, Dubai, the UK and Mauritius, and a number of the stable’s grooms.

Puget Sound raced in quite a hot MR93 field on Thursday and did it all under top weight and a good ride from Ryan Munger.

“So proud of him. The joint-most successful horse we’ve been involved,” tweeted Dubai-based TV host Laura King, one of the shareholders.

“Great stuff from a little soldier,” said Paulo Do Carmo.

“Yes, yes, yes,” messaged Tom Buchanan from Dubai.

“Well done, team perfect!” enthused Isabelle Doger de Spevill from Mauritius.

Mathew de Kock commented: “Puget Sound pulled up a little stiff but nothing serious. They’ve raised him to MR 99, but we’ll race him again soon. He is very fit and in form, perhaps unlike a few others at the start of their summer preparations. Maybe we can get away with another win because he has improved. We won’t rest him now.”

Puget Sound was bred by Wilgerbosdrift/Mauritzfontein and has won the syndicate R362,000.

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