Inglis Dash 2016: Bitburg primed for Hellbent clash

Canberra trainer Matthew Dale is sticking to an original plan to send Bitburg to Melbourne for the rich Inglis Dash at Flemington.

Dale was second guessing whether to go to the $250,000 sales-restricted sprint on Saturday.

He said he hadn’t anticipated having quality three-year-olds Hellbent and Gold Symphony being among the entries.

Dale also accepted for Bitburg in a race at Randwick where he drew wide, but after dissecting both fields the trainer said the gelding was booked to travel to Melbourne on Thursday night.

The Kurt Goldman-trained Hellbent is the $2.70 favourite for the Inglis Dash (1100m) with Gold Symphony at $4.50 while Bitburg is on the third line of betting at $8.

Dale says Bitburg, who can put himself on speed, should get the right run from barrier five.

And he is counting on the trip providing a good experience for the three-year-old who has won four of his six starts.

“I think he’ll acquit himself very well, (but) I think he’ll be somewhat vulnerable up the straight for the first time,” Dale said.

“The two horses that are hardest to beat on form (Hellbent and Gold Symphony) have both been up the straight previously which is a massive advantage for them, and under the set weights and penalties conditions they are very well in.

“But he’s fit and well and is racing right up to the mark. And anything can happen in racing.”

Nick Hall will ride Bitburg and Dale expects the jockey will suit the gelding.

Gold Symphony, who resumes on Saturday, won the Vain Stakes and McNeil Stakes at Caulfield in August and was second in a juvenile race over the Flemington straight course.

Hellbent raced at Flemington during the spring carnival when the colt finished eighth in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes.


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