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It can’t be easy taking over a horse just a week before a Grade 1 race but Amsterdam, one of the main contenders in the R2-million SA Derby over 2450m, has settled well into his new home and trainer Mike Azzie’s opinion after three days is that “he’s a lovely horse, a real professional and ready to run a big race on Saturday”.

Amsterdam was bought by Azzie’s chief patron Adriaan van Vuuren in a private deal concluded at the CTS Select Yearling Sale on Saturday night and moved down the road from Paul Peter to Azzie on Sunday morning.

Azzie is thrilled about getting a horse he has “been chasing” for months. “He’s very easy to get on with. He has a soft way about him. He doesn’t have any vices and loves affection and attention, which makes handling him easy. I’m already growing close to him.”

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