Basson daring to Dream

Jockey Tim Clark pilots Dark Dream to victory in Queensland Derby. Picture: AAP
Jockey Tim Clark pilots Dark Dream to victory in Queensland Derby. Picture: AAP

OWNER Mary Jane Basson has already knocked back a $2 million offer for her Queensland Derby winning "baby" Dark Dream, who she now hopes can take her all the way to spring carnival glory.

Whether that is this year, or next, Basson doesn't mind.

"He's still growing. After he has a spell he will come back a bigger, better and more powerful horse than he already is," she said.

"He's a work in progress. We will see how he enjoys his spell. Clearly Melbourne is the goal, if not this year, definitely next year. He will let us know."

Dark Dream is an unlikely Group 1 winner, as he is from a mare that was saved from a doomed fate because Basson happened to be in the right place at the right time.

"I was at a broodmare sale, with no intention of buying a broodmare," Basson said.

"I was with a friend having coffee in the sun and suddenly I saw this beautiful grey mare in the ring that was about to be knocked down to the 'doggers' and I put my hand up and for the princely sum of $800 Buchanan Girl became mine.

"We went to All American first up. We got a filly the first time who was regrettably struck by lightning when she was a yearling. She was an outstanding type and it broke my heart.

"So I went back to All American and the second time we got Dark Dream. As a baby he had a rather prominent parrot mouth and very wonky legs and was nothing like his beautifully conformed sister.

"To have one struck by lightning and one turn around and win the Derby I think it's the same odds for both events happening."

Offers have been rolling in for Dark Dream for a number of weeks. In particular after he dominated the Rough Habit Plate last month. But Basson has politely declined all offers.

"I knocked back $2 million, which was an extraordinarily generous offer, but he's like my baby and you just can't sell family, it's as simple as that," she said.

"I said to Kerry (Parker) a number of years ago I would get him his first Group 1 and to come good on that promise has been a marvellous thing for both of us and indeed the whole stable."

Dark Dream is yet to miss a place in 10 starts, with his 'worst' effort being third in the Grand Prix, where he lost a shoe and "about two inches of wall on either side", plus having a nail pierce through the sole of his foot.

"We iced it the first day, poulticed it for another two days to make sure there was no infection, then the farrier put the shoe on and he was as good as gold," Basson said.



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