The betting for the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday has had to be reshaped with the early scratching of top fancy Black Heart Bart.
The re-occurrence of feet problems has forced trainer Darren Weir to scratch Black Heart Bart who was marked on the third line of betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for the C.F. Orr Stakes at $6.50 behind stablemate Tosen Stardom at $4.60 and the James Cummings trained Hartnell at $5.
Bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have tightened the favourite Tosen Stardom into $4.20 with Hartnell being shortened up to $4.80 while the Chris Waller trained Shillelagh is now the third pick at $7.
Black Heart Bart’s scratching doesn’t help Tosen Stardom’s chance very much with the Japanese import still to jump from the outside barrier in the C.F. Stakes field that has been reduced to thirteen runners.
Damian Lane has plenty of work to do on Tosen Stardom who is chasing his third Group 1 win for the Weir stable after the import realised his potential during the 2017 Spring Carnival with dual Group 1 wins in the $500,000 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield and in the $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
Weir will also saddle up fellow Japanese import Brave Smash who is now marked at $8.50 and the leading Victorian trainer is expecting a better performance second up after finishing fifth, with Craig Williams in the saddle, to Thronum in the Group 2 $200,000 Carlton Draught Australia Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on January 26.
Brave Smash will move into gate five with John Allen taking over the reins from Williams who is riding the James Cummings trained Hartnell.
“Craig (Williams) pushed the button a bit too early in the Australia Stakes,” Weir said.
“I’m not saying he would have won but he could have finished second or third, and we’d look at it as a better run.”
The scratching of Black Heart Bart has denied the seven year old the chance to win back to back C. F. Orr Stakes after scoring a comfortable victory over Turn Me Loose twelve months ago.