Ballarat trainer Mitchell Freedman has been handed the task of rejuvenating the career of Bassett.
The recently turned seven-year-old runs for the first time for Freedman in Saturday’s VRC Member Brenda Nugent Handicap (1000m) at Flemington.
Bassett started his career with Peter Moody before being transferred to Mick Price’s stable halfway through his three-year-old season.
The gelding showed ability under Price, winning the Listed Hareeba Stakes at Mornington but that victory in March 2017, was his last.
Freedman said Bassett had his longest break in his 38-start career before joining his stable.
“He seems to be going quite well,” Freedman said.
“He had a jump-out at Horsham last week and I was pleased with how he went there.”
Freedman said there was no set agenda for Bassett when he arrived at Ballarat, other than to get him fit again and hopefully in a winning frame of mind.
He said the atmosphere at Ballarat and the variety of trackwork options has kept Bassett’s mind sharp, but the full results would not be known until he returned to racing.
Freedman sees Saturday’s race as a competitive affair and with a handicap rating of 84 Bassett is a hard horse to place.
“It’s a bit tricky with these horses that are high in the ratings and out of form as they’ve got to go out and tackle up-and-comers,” Freedman said.
“I think there’s some Group Two, potentially Group One, horses in Saturday’s race and he’s got to tackle them.
I think he’s going well but I think he’ll need a couple of runs to get his fitness levels up and then we’ll have to be smart where we place him and where we race him.”