“I always maintain a horse doesn’t know what a $50 note is. If you give a horse love and give them passion, they will respond” – Saab Hasan.
Saab’s mantra comes from his extraordinary path to becoming a trainer, which started early in his childhood in the Turkish side of Cyprus.
War forced Hasan and his family to head to Australia for a better life but Saab had already told his grandfather he would become a horse trainer, despite not laying his hands on a horse on the family farm.
Saab’s family relocated to Australia in time for the youngster to see Van Der Hum win the 1976 Melbourne Cup in torrential rain but the newly-arrived Hasan was hooked on the great sport that is thoroughbred racing.
Saab tried every stable at Flemington at the time looking for a job in racing before Mick Cerchi gave the 15-year-old his first break in the game.
Hasan learned from Cerchi and other outstanding horsemen such as John Sadler, David Hayes and the master trainer Bart Cummings before branching out on his own.
Saab is now based at the famous Chiquita Lodge stables at Flemington where his horses get the best of everything at the world class training centre.