Hellbent secures Yarraman Park stud berth with William Reid victory
Five-year-old will join father I Am Invincible on the roster later this year
Hellbent secured his place on the Yarraman Park stallion roster alongside his father I Am Invincible when swooping from off the pace to win the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday.
The Darren Weir-trained Hellbent was at risk of becoming a 'nearly' horse in top-level sprints, but the Yarraman part-owned five-year-old gained a deserved breakthrough in elite company and in the process provided I Am Invincible with his fourth Group 1 winner.
An eye-catching third from off the pace in the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield at his previous start, Hellbent was confidently ridden towards the rear of the field by jockey Craig Williams from his outside draw on Friday.
The Lindsay Park-trained Thronum made his dash for glory approaching the home straight, but Williams was able to conjure a stunning late burst from Hellbent, who looped the field and won going away by half a length, with Group 1 winner Catchy a further length away in third.
Yarraman Park director Harry Mitchell told ANZ Bloodstock News that it was particularly satisfying to win a Group 1 with Hellbent, who was a narrow second to Silent Sedition in the William Reid 12 months ago, having bought into the horse earlier in his career.
“We bought into him as a young horse and he had always been a Group 1 performer, but we have just been unlucky with him,” Mitchell said.
“He has run placings in numerous big races, so it was great to see him win the race and put them all to the sword in that manner.
“He is a very good horse and he was only a fraction outside the track record. He had to sit behind them and come round them, and to beat them like that was great to see.”
Mitchell confirmed that Hellbent would join the Yarraman Park stallion roster later this year, though a potential trip to Sydney for the T J Smith Stakes next month or an overseas campaign at Royal Ascot has not been ruled out.
“We will be standing him at Yarraman no question, whether we go to the T J Smith in Sydney or take him to England to Royal Ascot, we don't know yet, but he will be retiring to stand at Yarraman in the coming season,” he said.
More to come
The victory of Hellbent could signal a momentous 24 hours for I Am Invincible, with the stallion set to be represented by Santos, Oohood and Fiesta in the Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.
“We have got three runners and live chances in the Slipper which is exciting and we are having a good run at the moment, he is obviously a bloody superstar of a stallion,” Mitchell said.
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