Bass Strait (NZ) | Smooth Sailing into Group Three Winner’s New Career.

Bass Strait, a 2009 New Zealand-born gelding by Holy Roman Emperor (IRE) raced his first 23 starts under Victorian trainers David Hayes and Tom Dabernig between 2011 and September 2014. His Victorian career included placing second in the 2013 group three Coongy Handicap, and third in the 2014 Golden Mile. In October 2014 Bass Strait was purchased by a WA syndicate and travelled to the stables of Neville Parnham for a partnership of 32 starts including one win, three seconds and two thirds. Bass Strait’s placings with Parnham included winning the 2014 group three R J Peters which was then-apprentice jockey Chris Parnham first win a group race. Bass Strait also placed second in the 2016 R J Peters, and third in the 2014 and 2015 group two C B Cox Stakes.

Neville remembers Bass Strait as a good pick up for their stable, who ran very well for them.

“He was a good-natured horse that was lovely to have around. It’s good to see him enjoying his new life; we love to hear updates of the horses in their new homes” Neville said.

The eight-year-old then raced under Aaron Bazeley for three starts before moving to Graeme Ayres’ stables for his final 10 starts. Retiring in January 2019 with 68 starts including four wins, five seconds and four thirds, Bass Strait earnt his connections $467,825.

Gillian Ingham, when looking for her first thoroughbred in late 2019 was shown Bass Strait’s ad by one of his track work riders, Lucy Spittle. Gillian visited the gelding with her friend Trish Spittle. Gillian recalls trotting and cantering in the paddock without Bass Strait so much as blinking and eye. Gillian and Trish both agreed Bazz was the perfect fit!

Bass Strait, better known as Bazz, applied this laid-back attitude to his post-racing career. Within two months he and Gillian were jumping in the State Equestrian Centre’s indoor arena at the OTTWA Dressage and Jumping Competition. Together the pair are active members of Magenup Adult Riding Group, and regularly compete in the Adult Riders Clubs Assoc. of WA (ARCA) competitions, eventing, and dressage. They attend OTTWA clinics which Gillian says have provided excellent advice on how to handle and train the retired racehorses.

Gillian values Bazz’s relaxed nature, as well as the support network which has helped her navigate through re-training her handsome gelding.
“I have come to realise I have a quite chill horse and he take all events in his stride” Gillian says.

Bazz and Gillian currently compete in Preliminary dressage and 65 to 70cm show jumping, but their goal is to make their Novice and 80cm debut shortly.
“Bazz is such a handsome dude and he has renewed my love for riding. I am grateful to all the support from friends out there.”

What a lovely horse! We can’t wait to see Bazz and Gillian out reaching their goals.

Bass Strait has his OTTWA Passport. Did you know all retired racehorses that attend the OTTWA Clinics must have their Passport? Visit the OTTWA website to learn more.

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