Darren Weir has revealed that a Group 1 race like the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 27th is likely to figure as the major target for talented sprinter Hellbent during his Autumn Carnival campaign.
Hellbent has shown plenty of ability from his debut for Canberra-based trainer Kurt Goldman in 2015 and has only improved since arriving in Weir’s care prior to his recent preparation through the 2016 Spring Carnival.
Weir told Racing Ahead that the I Am Invincible entire has taken plenty of benefit from his time in the paddock and he is thrilled with the horse’s condition ahead of his 2017 Oakleigh Plate campaign.
“He trialled really well on Tuesday,” Weir said.
“He’ll probably resume in the Kensington Stakes and probably on an Oakleigh Plate path.
“He’s a magnificent looking horse and has furnished into a great, big, strong horse so hopefully this prep he can show what he’s really got.
“He’s got great ability. He’s not easy, he’s very manageable at the beach but he knows he’s a stallion and you’ve just got to keep on top of him a bit with the work, but the ability is certainly there.”
Hellbent stormed onto the Australian racing scene via two impressive wins in Sydney minor sprints in 2015 and made a competitive transition to black type company when third behind Counterattack and Spill The Beans in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m).
Finishing a credible eighth in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) and second in the Inglis Sprint (1200m), the entire out of Volkaspray posted his most impressive win to date in the Inglis Dash (1100m) and was returned to the paddock.
Failing to make anything of an impact when twelfth in the Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint (1200m) in what was his final start for Goldman, Hellbent won three of his five starts in his maiden campaign for Weir last spring and was last seen running third in the Listed Mumm Stakes (1000m) on Crown Oaks Day.