Hellbent returned to winning form with a typically scintillating performance for success in the Inglis Dash (1100m) at Flemington over the weekend, and trainer Kurt Goldman has revealed the performance may warrant a trip north for a race like the 2016 BTC Cup (1200m) this year.
Hellbent has been a standout performer for Goldman since first appearing on course partway through 2015; posting an impressive three wins and two minors through only six competitive appearances.
Unlucky to miss a start at Randwick a fortnight ago as a result of inclement weather, Goldman told Racing Victoria he is thrilled with his decision to instead target the Inglis Dash with the three-year-old and will now consider a return to the paddock before looking to a race like the 2016 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben in May.
“It was an afterthought coming here to this race, obviously the one back at Randwick was our main target and things didn’t go to plan,” Goldman said.
“In horse racing, sometimes you’ve got to go to Plan B, Plan C or even Plan D.
“He’s definitely the best horse I’ve had the pleasure of training but until they come out and do it on race day, there’s plenty of horses that are great at trackwork and don’t come out and produce.
“He’s a nice progressive horse heading in the right direction.
“Obviously after last start you can never be too confident. I was very confident going into that run at Randwick and he let me down so to speak.
“It was good to see the real Hellbent come out today.
“I did say that we’d likely go into the Eskimo Prince next start but there’s every chance he might go to the paddock and come back for the Scone Guineas, which is another Inglis race worth $400,000.
“That would give us a nice lead-up into Brisbane and he might even be able to contest a Stradbroke or a BTC Cup.”
Hellbent immediately stamped himself as a colt to follow when debuting to racing for success in a Canterbury minor over 1100m in June and continued to impress in winning the Ranvet BM67 (1200m) at Rosehill on September 30th and placing third in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) a fortnight later.
Running a credible eighth in heavy going and talented company in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day, Hellbent placed second to Lady Sniper in the Inglis Sprint (1100m) in his only other competitive start on December 12th.
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