Jockey Daniel Stackhouse is unbeaten on talented gelding Bassett and hopes to extend that to the biggest win of his career in the Caulfield Guineas.
And if Bassett can win the Group One race at Caulfield on Saturday it would be extra special for Stackhouse given his mother Vicki is a part-owner of the Peter Moody-trained three-year-old, having taken a share on her son’s recommendation early
“It’s a great thrill and a privilege to have an opportunity to ride in the Caulfield Guineas,” Stackhouse said.
“Ever since I first sat on this horse I really liked him and I’ve been aboard in most of his gallops this preparation and last preparation.”
Group One opportunities haven’t come along regularly for Stackhouse but he has netted two placings from seven Group One rides in Australia since venturing to Australia from New Zealand a few years ago.
He was second in the Australasian Oaks in 2013 on the Moody-trained Grand Daughter, while he finished third on Golden Archer in a memorable Lightning Stakes at Flemington when champion Black Caviar led in a trifecta for Moody-trained sprinters.
Stackhouse has ridden Bassett to his two wins at Caulfield, one in May on debut over 1100m and the other first-up this campaign over the same distance on September 19.
Luke Nolen was aboard when the son of Savabeel finished fifth behind Caulfield Guineas favourite Press Statement in the Group One JJ Atkins Stakes (1600m) in Brisbane in June in his only other start.
Stackhouse considers Bassett the best chance he’s had of winning a Group One despite also admitting the gelding faces a big ask jumping from 1100m to 1600m second-up, something he also did last preparation.
“I think he’s right in it,” Stackhouse said.
“He’s been working well. There’s not a lot of size to him but he’s got a pretty good engine.
“It’s a big ask for any horse to do that (1100m to 1600m) but he’s got such a great temperament and he does switch off.”
Bassett is on the fifth line of betting at $13 with Press Statement favourite at $2.30 ahead of Ready For Victory at $7.50.
Moody admits going from 1100m to 1600m in three weeks is not ideal but said Bassett was a talented horse which deserved his shot at the $1 million race.