Darren Weir is thrilled with the condition of Black Heart Bart ahead of the Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), but concedes the classy sprinter faces a tough task in winning the Group 1 feature race at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Black Heart Bart has been a strong and consistent performer through his entire racing career so far, but has undoubtedly reached new heights since being transferred to Weir’s care prior to this year’s Autumn Carnival.
Given little chance of success in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) first-up on March 12th, the Blackfriars gelding mustered a big late turn of foot to finish a close second to The Quarterback, and returned to winning form in style in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) a fortnight later.
Having again finished a close second when beaten to the line by English in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m), Black Heart Bart will carry winning form into the Stradbroke Handicap after posting a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in South Australia three weeks ago.
Weir told Racing Ahead he is thrilled with the five-year-old’s condition leading into the Stradbroke Handicap, and is pleased he has secured a central draw in barrier 10.
“He’s in great shape. He travelled up well, settled in well and has done great, so from our point of view everything is on track,” Weir said.
“He’s run great every start we’ve given him, but he’s one of those horses who is honest, has great ability, is very sound and easy to train, and gives his all race day.
“When they were hoping the draw I was hoping we’d around mid-field, so really happy with the draw because by that time of day, we’ll know how the track is racing.
“It’s hard to be confident in these sorts of races, but one thing we’re confident about is we’ve got him in the right order. If he gets bit of luck in running, he’s going to be around the mark for sure.”
Black Heart Bart has posted an impressive twelve race wins and a further ten minor through ten career starts, since first appearing on course in Perth for trainer Vaughn Sigley in 2013.
Charged with lugging a race-high 58kgs, Black Heart Bart has been confirmed to be partnered by in-form and regular hoop Brad Rawiller and is currently available at Stradbroke Handicap odds of $5.50 with Ladbrokes Australia.