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Hellbent was severely disadvantaged by his positioning on the Flemington straight when eighth in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on October 31st, but trainer Kurt Goldman is confident the horse will return to winning form in Saturday’s $250,000 Inglis Sprint (1100m) at Randwick.
Hellbent jumped from the gates well in the Coolmore Stud Stakes and proved he was certainly up to the class of the talented field, but was all but out of contention from the get-go having drawn in the centre of a field in which the rails bias was enormous.
Goldman told Racenet the I Am Invincible colt has taken plenty of benefit from a brief time away from racing and is primed for a big performance at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
“He’s heavier and stronger than he was in Melbourne,” Goldman said.
“He had two weeks off here at the farm after the Coolmore but has still maintained plenty of his fitness.
“He’d be 10kgs heavier right now than he was six weeks ago and most of that is sheer strength.”
Goldman revealed he is yet to settle on a specific target for Hellbent in 2016 but revealed he will take into consideration major Group 1 feature races for the three-year-old should his form warrant it.
“It will tell is a lot about where to go with him next campaign,” Goldman said.
“I’ve kept him fresh for the 1100m on Saturday and ideally he’ll come out win well.
“He will then have a break and if he’s good enough we will look at a couple of races leading into the Stradbroke Handicap or we can head towards the Inglis Scone Guineas which carries prizemoney of half-a-million dollars.”
Trialling well in the lead-up to his competitive debut, Hellbent immediately stamped himself as one to watch when taking out the McGrath Estate Agents Maiden (1100m) in June before immediately returning to the paddock.
Returning in spring for success in the Ranvet BM67 (1200m), Hellbent made a competitive transition to black type racing when third in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) in his only other start prior to the Coolmore Stud Stakes.
Included amongst a list of 18 nominations, Hellbent is expected to be confirmed in a capacity field of 14 for Saturday’s Inglis Sprint by midday, Wednesday.
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