Five times Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart will lead trainer Darren Weir’s charges in the Group 1 $750,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
As well as Black Heart Bart, Weir is likely to saddle up Caulfield Cup bound Humidor and the back in form Gailo Chop.
“They’re the three that will definitely be running,” Weir told AAP.
“All three are in good shape at this stage and they’re looking to get out to the mile and even further.”
Punters are in for a great day’s racing on Saturday and as well as Melbourne race goers getting to witness the running of the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes, Sydney patrons will be blessed with the appearance of Winx at Randwick in Sydney in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) .
Regular rider Brad Rawiller will be back aboard Black Heart Hart who is closing in for his first 2017 Spring Carnival win following his first up third to Hartnell in the Group 2 $200,000 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 19 and his second to Vega Magic in the Group 1 $1m New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 2.
Humidor’s main Spring Carnival target in the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 21 and the step up to the 1600m of Makybe Diva Stakes should see him improve on his last start eighth in the Memsie Stakes.
French import Gailo Chop was back in the winner’s stall last start in the Listed $100,000 Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville Parks on September 2, his first win since leading all of the way to win the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington during the 2015 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“He ran a bit below what we expected first-up but bounced back second up,” Weir said.
“He was a bit ring-rusty at Caulfield.
“He’s a good horse and there’s still further improvement to come.”
While Melbourne race goers won’t get to see Winx in action live, they will get to see the 2016 Cox Plate runner up Hartnell go around in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
The James Cummings trained Hartnell will be having his second Spring Carnival outing following his first up win in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes.
Early betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Makybe Diva Stakes has Hartnell as the $1.80 favourite ahead of Black Heart Bart and the Kris Lees trainer Le Romain at $8, Hey Doc and Humidor at $9 and Gailo Chop at $13.