Encouraging runs by European imports Bit Of Hell and Pakal back in May has given Caulfield trainer Mick Price enough confidence to test them at Group 1 level in the upcoming Spring Carnival.
At their only Australian starts, Italian stayer Bit Of Hell flashed to the line to be beaten a nose by the Peter Moody trained Strawberry Boy while Price said that German galloper Pakal was unlucky in finishing fifth in the same race.
Price has pencilled in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21 as an early Spring goal for both gallopers with the pair following the same path in the lead up.
After missing a good hit out because of Monday’s washed out Cranbourne barrier trials, Bit Of Hell and Pakal will be slightly underdone at their first Spring appearance over 1600m at Caulfield on August 17.
Price is looking to make up for the lost trial with a solid hit out at Sportingbet Park, Sandown on Monday.
“They’ll go into the mile race underdone after missing a trial but they’ll both be happy and healthy,” Price told Racing Victoria.
“They may both then go to the Listed Heatherlie Handicap (1700m) for their second up run at Caulfield on August 31 and then they’ll probably run in the Underwood.
“I’m pretty sure that’ll be their first three runs and then we will work things out from there.”
Pakal, by German sire Lord Of England is the winner of three races, including the 2012 Group 3 €55,000 Bavarian Classic (2000m) at Munich.
While Bit Of Hell has won six times with two at Listed level, the latest over 2300m at Siracusa in Italy in December last year.