Trainer Mick Price thinks conditions might be just about right for Bassett to regain winning form at Warrnambool.
The five-year-old runs in Wednesday’s Listed Wangoom Handicap (1200m), the feature sprint of the three-day Warrnambool May carnival.
Bassett is no stranger to success in Listed grade and Price believes the gelding has found his level.
The gelding won successive black-type races in March and April last year, the latest at Mornington in the Hareeba Stakes but has been winless in 10 starts since.
He contested the Group One Goodwood at Morphettville last May, finishing midfield behind Vega Magic, which prompted Price to reassess his goals for the gelding.
After disappointing Price with his finishing effort at Bendigo last month, the trainer opted for the first time to apply blinkers to Bassett’s race day gear.
Price was happy with the gelding’s performance to finish fourth, just over a length off the winner Sprightly Lass in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes at Caulfield.
“He came out of his run fine,” Price said.
“We’ve just got to try and find the right sorts of races for him as he gets up in the weight with his rating.
“I can’t do much more for him. I’ve got no excuses for him.”
Pleasing for Price was the prospects of a soft track, bordering on good, for the sprinter.
The track was rated in the soft range for Tuesday’s opening day, and despite fine weather, was expected remain on the softer side of good for the second day.
“We’ll see what happens on the day but he doesn’t like it too hard,” Price said.
Bassett is rated a $15 chance in early betting for Wednesday’s race with Bons Away, third in the Bel Esprit Stakes, the $4.60 favourite ahead of the Darren Weir-trained Handsome Thief at $4.80.
Although Bassett may be considered an outsider, Price is expecting a forward showing.
“He’ll give a bit of cheek” Price said.
“It might be the right time, the right place.”
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