Goulburn’s Kurt Goldman is seriously considering a Golden Rose 2015 bid this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival with his promising colt Hellbent after the rising three-year-old saluted in the first at Canterbury on Wednesday.
The previously unraced I Am Invincible colt had been to the trials three times before his midweek debut including for two Warwick Farm winning hit-outs over 803m and 796m respectively this winter.
Today he had his first official start under race conditions in the $40,000 McGrath Estate Agents Plate (1100m) where he jumped the $2.80 favourite in the set weights race for maiden two-year-olds.
Ridden by Hugh Bowman he found the line a half-length ahead of Chris Waller’s Starspangledbanner filly Echo Queen ($12) with the Gai Waterhouse-trained daughter of Star Witness Kimberley Star ($5.50), runner-up behind Odyssey Moon in December’s Inglis Nursery at Randwick last summer, crossing a further two and a quarter lengths away in third to finish off the trifecta in the Canterbury opener.
Impressed with the early form of Hellbent, Goldman named the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 12 as a possible big spring assignment for the up-and-comer.
“He’s by far the best horse I have ever laid hands on but he’s still got to go and do it,” Goldman said after the win.
The only thing going against a Golden Rose campaign was how early the classic fell on the spring calendar the private trainer for owner Alan Cardy explained.
“We won’t rule anything out at this stage but if he goes to the Golden Rose he will be up against a lot of horses who have had already their (first) preparations,” Goldman said.
Group 1 plans ramped up after the winning debut especially after the glowing post-race praise from Bowman who boasts two Golden Rose wins with Duporth (2008) and last year’s champion Hallowed Crown (2014) prepared by Bart & James Cummings.
“I’m sure you’re going to see him in better company than this,” Bowman said.
“He let down nicely but the ground is genuine heavy and all things considered, it was a very pleasing debut.”
Also Golden Rose bound this spring is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Pride Of Dubai, the Street Cry colt having won back-to-back Group 1 races earlier in the year to boost his prize money earned over $1.25 million.
The first was Caulfield’s Blue Diamond Stakes in Melbourne before his Sydney success at Ranwick in early April in the Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes.
Co-trainer Peter Snowden, who trained three Golden Rose winners in Forensics (2008), Denman (2009) and Epaulette (2012) during his time as the head horseman for Darley (now Godolphin), is confident Pride Of Dubai will improve as a three-year-old.
The Golden Rose will kick off the young star’s campaign that is geared towards a Melbourne run in the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) over the mile on October 10, a race Team Snowden prepared Shooting To Win to win last year.
Stay tuned for all the latest on the Golden Rose 2015, the best early betting markets for which will be available online through Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the famous $500 bonus welcome bet offer this season!