Bass Strait in belated Melbourne arrival

Magic Millions runners are not the only horses to encounter transport problems this week.

West Australian galloper Bass Strait, set to race at Caulfield, was stranded in Perth on Wednesday due to mechanical issues with the plane.

Trainer Neville Parnham’s predicament came 24 hours after the Darren Weir-trained stablemates Mahuta and Lucky Hussler had their flight to Queensland.

Bass Strait eventually arrived in Melbourne on Friday to contest a heat of the Swettenham Stud Summer Championship on Saturday.

“He travelled over well and hasn’t turned a hair,” Parnham said.

“It’s not ideal but he won’t be fazed by it.”

After starting his career with David Hayes, Bass Strait was sold to Perth interests and won the Group Three RJ Peters Stakes at his second start in the west.

Despite that being his only win for Parnham, the trainer said Bass Strait had been consistent despite having some problems.

He came into training this campaign on the gross side after foot and respiratory issues resulted in the gelding racing just twice during the winter.

Parnham pointed to his third behind Delicacy and Black Heart Bart in the Group Two Cox Stakes as a sign he was ready to win again.

“That form is strong enough for a race like this on Saturday,” Parnham said.

Parnham said a lack suitable races in Perth for a horse of Bass Strait’s rating was the reason he sent him east.

“A couple of owners from the east are in the horse and were keen for him to continue racing and the way he worked this week, he hasn’t trained off,” Parnham said.

Parnham is eyeing the final of the Summer Championship at Caulfield on Australia Day but if he thinks the gelding is looking for something longer then he may switch him to a 2000m race at Flemington on January 30.

He will be guided by the gelding’s form before deciding on whether to take a step up in grade later in the autumn.


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