Bass Strait Caulfield Cup Bound

The win of the Pencarrow –bred four-year-old Bass Strait (NZ) (Holy Roman Emperor) in yesterday’s A$80,000 TMB Printing Handicap (1700m) at Caulfield has the horse earmarked for a tilt at the Group 1 Caulfield Cup.

Bass Strait ran a game but luckless fifth place at his last outing in the Group 2 Dato Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley behind Fiorente, current second favourite for the Melbourne Cup.

The Holy Roman Emperor gelding started the race as a warm favourite on the back of his recent good form. Ridden by Chad Schofield, the four-year-old was positioned in a good spot around mid-field throughout the race. When the field entered the straight Bass Strait sprinted to the lead and put pay to the field quickly to record victory by 1.5 lengths.

Trained by David Hayes, Bass Strait has now won three races in his 12-start career and earned A$141,400 in stakemoney.

Hayes has always had a good opinion of the horse having competed against the best three-year-olds last season at stakes level including two Group 1 starts.

“Obviously we are very happy with his win on Saturday,” commented Hayes. “I think he is a very good horse who has a big future.

“He will go to the Group 1 Toorak Handicap on 12 October. If we are fortunate enough to win the Toorak Handicap we would consider going to the Caulfield Cup which is a big step up in trip.

“If he doesn’t make it to the Caulfield Cup there is the Group 1 McKinnon Stakes on Derby Day and that will become the short term goal.”

Bass Strait was bred by Peter & Philip Vela and sold by Pencarrow Stud at the 2011 Karaka Premier Sale to BBA Ireland for $220,000. Peter Vela retained a share in the horse and now races the Victorian based gelding in association with Mr Peter Barnett, R & C Legh Racing Pty Ltd, Gurners Bloodstock Co & Mrs Yvonne Nicoll.

Bass Strait is the second winner for his dam Crystalline (Zabeel) who has only had two progeny to race. Crystalline is a daughter of Group 1 New Zealand One Thousand Guineas winner Clear Rose (Deputy Governor) and is by champion sire Zabeel.

Crystalline was served last season by Westbury Stud’s sire Redwood. In serendipity fashion Clear Rose foaled a filly by Redwood this morning at Pencarrow Stud.