Jockey Brad Rawiller is confident that Black Heart Bart’s Cox Plate form will stack up when he takes to the barriers for the Moonee Valley feature race on Saturday.
Black Heart Bart has been a standout performer for trainer Darren Weir in 2016 and has finished no worse than second through a total of nine competitive starts since transferring from the Perth stables of Vaughn Sigley.
Rawiller told Racing Ahead that the Blackfriars gelding is in peak form leading into the Cox Plate 2016 and that he will not be fazed by what champion mare and clear race favourite Winx is doing in transit.
“I think it’s all about getting my horse his best chance in the race,” Rawiller said.
“I can’t go out riding to try and beat Winx because I have my chances to run my horse’s best result, so we’ll forget about what she’s going to do and worry about what I’m going to do.”
Black Heart Bart was last seen running second to Winx in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield a fortnight ago, but Rawiller believes the 2016 Cox Plate stage will offer completely different possibilities this weekend.
“It’s always tricky when you’re in a three-horse race and leading is not my horse’s preferred position but there wasn’t really any other way it was going to be,” Rawiller said of the Ladbrokes Stakes.
“The way he began, I couldn’t have been happier through the run. I was happy with the rhythm I got with him and he relaxed which is massive going into the Cox Plate, because the pressure is something else.
“He’s an on-speed chaser and that was probably the reason he laid out onto her in the straight. He was very credible – he wasn’t smashed.
“Like all horses in the race, they’re trained to peak on Cox Plate Day so that’s what my horse is going to do and I can’t wait for it.
“He was through the line strong last time and the way he pulled up was terrific.”
Black Heart Bart has posted an impressive fourteen wins and thirteen minors through a total of thirty-five career starts since debuting to racing in the late stages of 2013.
Given little chance of success in his first start for Weir; the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 12th, Black Heart Bart produced a slick turn of foot to run a close second behind The Quarterback.
Returning to winning form in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m), Black Heart Bart again placed second in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) before breaking through for a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 21st.
Having been returned to the paddock after finishing second to Under The Louvre in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), Black Heart Bart resumed this time for success in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m); progressing to second in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and winning the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) in his only other start prior to the Ladbrokes Stakes.
Black Heart Bart is currently available at 2016 Cox Plate odds of $26 with Ladbrokes Australia.