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Tag Archives: John Hassett

Late Cheltenham-winning Clare trainer a thorn in bookies’ sides

When news filtered through earlier this week that 85-year-old Quin trainer, breeder and veterinary surgeon, John Hassett, had gone to his eternal reward, it marked the passing of one of racing’s most enduring characters, writes Michael Duggan. Widely regarded as one of the shrewdest judges of bloodstock of any era, the Ballyhannon House trainer came from a family steeped in all aspects of equine activities. A lifetime involved in the horse racing industry made the late Hassett a household name. Racing fans of a certain vintage will fondly recall a string of successful high-profile gambles orchestrated by the genial Hassett, who liked nothing better than to cane the bookies when the odds were in his favour. Horses such as Humble Pickings – who won at the now defunct Phoenix Park racecourse at odds of 50/1 when backed in betting shops all over the country – Gombos, Was I Right and Scotia King are just a few from a long list …

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