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Price to rely upon Bassett in Bel Esprit

mick price
Caulfield trainer Mick Price will rely on Bassett in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes on his home track.

Trainer Mick Price will rely on Bassett as his sole representative in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes at Caulfield.

Price also had early favourite Secret Agenda in Saturday’s 1100m-sprint but has elected to send the mare to Adelaide for the Group Three Irwin Stakes over the same distance at Morphettville.

The trip to Adelaide is in preparation for the Group One Sangster Stakes at Morphettville on May 5, a race she won last year.

“She hasn’t raced for 29 days and we want to give her a little motivation, a little bit of stimulation,” Price Said.

“So she can go to Adelaide and come straight back and then go over again for the fifth.”

Price said he was disappointed with Bassett’s performance when fourth over 1100m at Bendigo on April 7 which followed a first-up eighth to Whispering Brook at Moonee Valley on March 16.

Price has opted to add blinkers to Bassett’s gear on Saturday.

“He ranged up to win at Bendigo but I thought he was very disappointing,” Price said.

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“He only got beaten 1.8 (lengths) and I thought here’s a win, but he ducked in under pressure.

“I’m not sure what that was about but I can’t find anything wrong with him so he’ll go forward on Saturday.

“He’s hard, fit, and has the blinkers on.”

Price said if Bassett ranges up to win but doesn’t finish it off he will need to send the gelding off for further investigation.

“We may have to send him off to the doctor for some scintigraphy to see if there’s anything there holding him back,” Price said.

Price doubts Bassett will be joining Secret Agenda on any further trips to Adelaide, saying the gelding had his chance at last year’s carnival.

Bassett hasn’t been successful since winning the Hareeba Stakes at Mornington last year before running two respectable unplaced races at Morphettville.

“Mark Zahra rode him in the Goodwood last year and while he drew out he had his chance,” Price said.

“He’s a nice horse that has won $400,000, but he’s a little horse that’s a 96 rater who gets up in the weights a bit, so I need a bit of sympathy from (handicapper) Greg Carpenter.”

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