Caulfield’s Mick Price is hoping for a successful Flemington debut for his unraced colt Hellbound who could develop into a potential Blue Diamond 2016 type this coming Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
Price had success in the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), held at Caulfield Racecourse in late February, back in 2012 with his smart filly Samaready who won the classic as one of her four successful opening career runs.
She, like Price’s More Than Ready two-year-old Hellbound, had her maiden start over 1000m at Flemington the December prior to the Blue Diamond and was successful in that as well as her next three runs in black-type company.
If he shows similar potential first-up this weekend in the $80,000 Christmas Season Plate (1100m), Hellbound could follow a similar path to next year’s Blue Diamond Stakes.
Samaready was put away after her successful debut coming back in February for a 3.3 length win in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies) and then her similarly impressive 3 length victory in the Group 1 a fortnight later.
She also won Rosehill’s Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) that year by two lengths in her first run in Sydney before a brave third behind star colt Pierro in the lucrative $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m).
Currently Hellbound isn’t listed in the futures Blue Diamond Stakes betting or in the all-in Golden Slipper odds at Ladbrokes.com.au that are led by the undefeated Godolphin duo of Astern ($7) and Capitalist ($8).
That will change if he can make an early impression in the first at Flemington on Saturday, the set weights plus penalties sprint attracting a final field of just eight.
Only three of the juveniles in the line-up have previous race experience and of those Peter Moody’s last start Geelong winning Reward For Effort colt Hell Of An Effort is the only non-maiden.
Betting on Flemington Race 1 is a wide open affair with five of the hopes paying between $4.20 and $5 in the latest markets.
Hellbound is that narrow $4.20 favourite after coming up trumps with the inside run from barrier one for jockey Craig Newitt, who rode Samaready to victory in the 2012 Blue Diamond Stakes.
Off an eye-catching jump out, Hellbound will don blinkers on Saturday and Price is hoping the horse lives up to what he has shown at home when he goes to the races for the first time.
“They can do everything right here and you can be standing there after a race down the straight wondering what went on, because some of the two-year-olds that don’t trial down the straight they just get very green sometimes,” Price told Racing Victoria this week.
“There’s not much you can do about that, it’s a cross fingers job, but I don’t think that will affect Hellbound because he’s blinkered, he’s gelded and he’s on the ball.”
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