Hell Hound to the fore at Sandown

The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained Hell Hound has graduated to city company with a stylish victory at Sandown.

A debut winner at Terang on April 10, Hell Hound headed to Sandown on Saturday to contest the IVE> Print Handicap (1000m).

Sent out the $1.90 favourite under Beau Mertens, Hell Hound registered a three-quarter length win from Port Albert ($4.80) with Royal Invader ($11) a half-length away third.

Kent Jnr conceded Hell Hound did not look happy on the heavy track which was softened by almost 35mm of rain on Friday night.

“I think on a good track she would have let down a lot better,” Kent Jnr said.

“It looked like her wheels spun a little bit and I’d say it was a very messy race.

“She was in an awkward spot the entire way, so the smallish margin is probably not indicative of how talented she may be, and the second horse has obviously got ‘black type’ already, so I think it was a better win than it looked.”

Kent Jnr said the stable would assess how Hell Hound pulls-up from the victory before deciding on whether to take her to a stakes race for her next outing adding he would not hesitate in turning her out.

“She’s a gorgeous filly and the team back at home have done a great job with her,” Kent Jnr said.

“She’s a very sassy filly and she’s now become very nice to deal with.”

Mertens said Hell Hound was not at home on the heavy ground having ridden her to victory at Terang.

“She showed a really good turn of foot at Terang when I asked her to go and today she made me worry a little bit, but she got through it,” Mertens said.

Mertens completed a race to race double when he made a daring mid-race move on Witchachar Star to claim the Tobin Brothers Celebrating Live Handicap (2400m).

Witchachar Star may back up into the Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m) on Thursday.

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