The Courier-Mail

Moody banks on bold beast Bassett

- NATHAN EXELBY

PETER Moody has been knocking on the door of a big race win throughout the carnival and his turn may come on Saturday with Derby hope Upham and intriguing twoyear-old Bassett.

Moody has pencilled in a JJ Atkins start for Bassett, despite the fact he’s had just one career start over 1100m at Caulfield.

On that occasion, Bassett clocked a slick time for the day, comfortabl­y beating stablemate Kinglike, who was impressive winning at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

Bassett is a $7.50 chance for this week’s Group 1.

Asked if it would rank among his better achievemen­ts, Moody shrugged off the enormity of the task.

“He’s by Savabeel, so I don’t see it that way,” he said.

“This race has always been on the radar. That’s why we nominated him for it.

“The trick was trying to work out the right preparatio­n to get him there.

“The temptation was to have his first start in the Sires at 1350m, but there was going to be the chance he wouldn’t make the field so we opted to kick him off at home.

“I think three weeks to a mile is achievable. Two-yearolds are a lot more athletic than older horses and they can adapt better.

“If anything, my concern is that he’s a bit bold (going). I’ve been working hard since that run getting him to relax.

“I must say that since he arrived in Brisbane, he settled in like a seasoned traveller.

“Provided he pleases me with his gallop (tomorrow), I will be paying up for him.”

In-form Luke Nolen will take the ride on Bassett and also on Bring Me The Maid in the Dane Ripper.

Betting for the JJ Atkins is headed by Liam Birchley’s Blueberry Hill and Press Statement at $5. Chris Waller will decide today if Press Statement backs up from his Rosehill win last Saturday.

Moody sits equal with Gai Waterhouse on seven Group 1 wins this season, with the former Queensland­er notching a half century of career Group 1 winners this autumn.

His last Queensland Group 1 victory came three years ago, when he dominated Stradbroke day by taking the feature with Mid Summer Music and the Derby with Brambles, before Lights Of Heaven won the Brisbane Cup (G2).

He feels he’s in good shape to win the Derby a second time on Saturday.

“Upham has been pretty competitiv­e the whole way through and going to 2200m is not an issue at all,” he said.

Kerrin McEvoy retains the ride on Upham after the pair took out the Grand Prix nine days ago.

 ??  ?? RELAXED AND COMFORTABL­E: Bassett wins on debut at Caulfield last month and (below) trainer Peter Moody. Picture: Getty Images
RELAXED AND COMFORTABL­E: Bassett wins on debut at Caulfield last month and (below) trainer Peter Moody. Picture: Getty Images
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