Hassen Adams Wishes Drakenstein Team Well

Big race is off at 16h10

Top South African breeder and businessman Hassen Adams knows what it takes to win our most prestigious weight-for-age mile with a 3yo.

When his smashing Aussie-bred Gimmethegreenlight won the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate back in 2012 he became the first sophomore in almost half a century to achieve the rare distinction.

Talking to the Sporting Post on the eve of the Cape Premier Yearling Sale, the now 70, but still remarkable sprightly – ten cancers take their toll – Hassen said that he wished Gaynor Rupert and the Drakenstein team well on Charles Dickens’ bid to emulate the rare feat.

Happy Days! The Gimmethegreenlight team after the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate win.

“Charles Dickens is quite something. But you know that. The problem is, when people are part of history or greatness they struggle to acknowledge it because it’s the present and real. I think that in 20 years time – maybe I will still be here – we will be looking back and saying that we were there on 7 January 2023. It’s a rare privilege to watch a top thoroughbred or sportsman in action,” he waxes as he says he will make every effort to attend today for a few hours, despite his discomfort.

“It feels like yesterday. I wasn’t even 60 yet!” he laughs as he reflects back on a horse that he loved and picked up for A$150 000 at an Inglis Weanling Sale.

He says he was sitting at a table with James Bester and Sue Snaith. Hassen loves to tell the story: “Sue really is one of those people with a special affinity – a spiritual link – with horses. She has a great eye for a good horse. I said to them I am going to try and get him for A$50 000. Next minute, bidding opened at 50k! I kept going and eventually landed up paying three times that. But he was worth every cent in hindsight!”

Watch the 2012 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate replay:

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