The David Hayes-trained duo of Spacecraft and Bass Strait are well down the betting for the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley this afternoon but the leading trainer is looking for a competitive effort by both gallopers.
Spacecraft will be returning to Group 2 level for the first time since he finished second in the Crystal Mile (1600m) last year and has won only one of his last thirty-four race starts.
Based on his middling performance in the Listed Slickpix Stakes (1700m), the Galileo gelding will struggle to be competitive against the strong Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes field but Hayes is hopeful that the tempo of the race will give the seven-year-old the opportunity to run well.
“He does look like he will get an uncontested lead and that is why we are running at weight-for-age, we find that the tempos are slower at weight-for-age and turn into a sprint home,” Hayes said on his website.
“Hopefully he can get a bit of peace in front.
“He got cleaned up by The Cleaner last start and I’m just happy there isn’t a horse like that in this race.”
Bass Strait started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with an unlucky second in the New Zealand Bloodstock Handicap (1300m) at Sandown and looks to have returned in excellent condition for this preparation.
The Holy Roman Emperor gelding raced at the highest level as a three-year-old, finishing fifth in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) and seventh in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m), but is struggling to qualify for the major handicap races this spring.
Bass Strait failed to qualify for a run in the Jeep Don’t Hold Back Handicap (1600m) at Moonee Valley this Saturday and is hoping that the three-year-old can improve his rating if he performs well in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes.
“Bass Straight ran a cracker first-up,” Hayes said.
“I don’t know how he got beaten but he got beaten an inch.
“We couldn’t get in the welter so we decided to have a go at the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam.
“I’m hoping to be competitive and get a bit of a hike in the weights so he can get into the handicaps at this time of year.”
Hayes is chasing his second win in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes after winning the race with Guillotine in 2008.