The Darren Weir-trained Hellbent has claimed the Group One William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley.
Trainer Darren Weir is always thinking outside the square with his horses and some solitary confinement has landed Hellbent a Group One win at Moonee Valley.
Placed second in the William Reid Stakes 12 months ago, Hellbent stormed home to win Friday’s night race.
Ridden by Craig Williams, Hellbent ($10) scored a half-length win from Thronum ($8) with Catchy ($10) a length away third.
Weir found a stall where all Hellbent could look before the 1200m race was a wall.
“Little things haven’t gone right with him,” Weir said.
“He got scratched at Caulfield one day when he kicked out in the stable but he was in the best mood he’s been in tonight.
“We found a spot he was happy in looking at the wall.
“The strapper hasn’t had much of a night but the horse wasn’t doing anything so we left him there.
“He saddled up great as he’s usually hard to saddle up.”
What the immediate future holds for Hellbent, Weir is unsure.
He holds a nomination for the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick on April 7 but with a Group One win under the belt his future is now assured at stud.
Weir said Hellbent was a beautiful-looking horse who should find a good home.
Williams held concerns before the race with leaders, or those racing on pace, dominating but after a pre-race discussion with Weir it was decided not to change his pattern.
“Darren and his owners stuck firm as we can’t ride him any other way,” Williams said.
“We needed the race to work for him so I took a bit of the guess out of it and trusted him.
“He came out to the part of the track that we didn’t want to be, but in the end he was decisive.”
Ben Hayes, representing Lindsay Park, said both Thronum and Catchy represented the stable with distinction.
“We’ve had the edge on Weiry in the last couple of Group One’s, so it was his turn tonight,” Hayes said.