Hellmuths Out To ‘Swindle' Some Bulli Gold
THE New South Wales South Coast has proven to be a ‘goldmine’ for group 1 winning Victorian trainers Keith and Lisa Hellmuth.
THE NSW South Coast has proven to be a ‘goldmine' for Victorian hobby trainers Keith and Lisa Hellmuth.
In 2013 at Dapto, the Hellmuths sampled Group 1 glory for the first time when Peter Rocket won the Megastar, and in 2019 Start A Riot was runner-up to superstar Good Odds Harada in the same event.
On Sunday night, the Hellmuths will take a trip down memory lane, returning to familiar territory.
This time they're heading to Bulli for heats of the Group 2 Gold Cup (472m) with Swindled, the lone interstate contender.
It's the second time the Hellmuths have targeted ‘gold' at Bulli, with the almost aptly-named Bear's Gold a hard-luck story when sent out favourite in the 2017 Cup Final.
"I was walking him to the boxes and his muzzle broke, so they gave me another one, but it was too small for him," Lisa Hellmuth recalled.
"It was so disappointing."
The Hellmuths are hoping for better fortune when Swindled tackles the last of four heats of Bulli's richest race (race 9, 9.15pm), with next Friday's (February 16) final worth $40,000 to-the-winner.
A March '21 son of Aussie Infrared and Headline, Swindled (box 4) is on the third line of betting at $4.20, while he's $12 in the All In market.
He makes his interstate debut after contesting the Group 2 Traralgon Cup heats, where he ran third to the brilliant Pass The Buck, beaten less than two lengths.
"He's really surprised us," Hellmuth said.
"He's done two Achilles tendons, which is the reason he hasn't had that many starts, and we only thought he was going to be handy.
"Whether he's good enough or not, we know he is, but he just needs a clear run to get out in front.
"He doesn't get out of a box brilliantly. He gets going after a few steps and he's proving to be quite strong.
"He just needs some room at the start and if he gets to the lead, I'd be surprised if they can beat him, to be honest."
Winner of 11 from 27, Swindled has endured a tough road to the big time, suffering his first Achilles injury before making it to the track.
"We were getting out of dogs at the time, so we gave Swindled to Gino Micallef to pre-train but then he ripped his Achilles," Lisa explained.
"We took him back and then we gave him to a young trainer, Bobi Veleski, to play around with.
"Bobi did a good job with him, but then he did his other Achilles.
"So, we got him back again. We didn't want to push him, so we started him off at Healesville and Traralgon.
"Then he won five in a row and ran in the 16.40s at Healesville and 23.40s at Bendigo, and how often would you run 25.45sec at Geelong and get beaten?
"We ran him in the Traralgon Cup heats and then in a 500m race on Cup night, but he drew six and eight and got hampered all the way up that long straight.
"We're over the moon with how he's been going!
"He hasn't trialled at Bulli, but all he needs is a bit of room and hopefully he doesn't get lost!"
One thing is for certain, the Hellmuths won't get lost, with the South Coast holding many fond memories for the Pearcedale partners.