Black Heart Bart will head towards the 2016 Cox Plate as one of the main dangers to Winx after he recorded a comfortable victory in the 2016 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Cleaner took up the running in the early stages of the Underwood Stakes and Brad Rawiller settled Black Heart Bart in a lovely rhythm just behind the speed.
Black Heart Bart worked through his gears impressively and he hit the front at the 200 metre mark before running away from his rivals to record a very comfortable win from He Or She and a flying Lucia Valentina.
Rawiller has form an outstanding partnership with Black Heart Bart since he joined the stable of Darren Weir and he could not have given the son of Blackfriars a better run in transit in the Underwood Stakes.
“He had a good run,” Rawiller said.
“He did get a little bit on the bridle there at one point, but once he got in his rhythm I could not have been happier down the side.
“Once again I got there a bit too soon, but he was just travelling and there is no point waiting for them when you are on the best horse
“He is a smart horse.”
Weir was always confident that Black Heart Bart would have no problems running out a strong 1800 metres in the Underwood Stakes and the leading Victorian trainer proved once again that it is never wise for punters to doubt him.
He confirmed that Black Heart Bart will take on Winx in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 8 before he likely progresses to the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley a fortnight later.
“It was good to see him run through the line like that,” Weir said.
“I never had any doubts about the 1800 – I thought that he ran really well last start and he was just beaten by a better horse on the day.
“He has come on a lot since then and he was strong through the line.
“We will head to the Caulfield Stakes now and we will see what happens after that.
“The opposition is going to get stronger as you head towards the Cox Plate and he needs to be running like he did today to think that you are going to be competitive with them.
“That will have him right where we want him now.”
He Or She produced another solid performance to finish second, while Lucia Valentina produced easily the fastest closing sectionals in a perfect preparatory run for the Cox Plate.