Five times Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart will wear the blinkers for the first time in three years when he lines up in the Group 1 $700,000 Darley Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Black Heat Bart is backing up week to week after finishing a disappointing seventh to Vega Magic in the Group 1 $1m Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville last Saturday and trainer Darren Weir thinks it is a good time for to put the blinkers back on.
“It was just a gut feel that I just feel that he needs them,” Weir told RSN’s Racing Pulse.
“Darren Murphy, he does quite a bit for us race day. He watched the race and had the same opinion as me that it might be time for a gear change so we went with that.”
Black Heart Bart last wore the blinkers when he finished twelfth in the Listed $100,000 Melvista Stakes (2200m) at Ascot in Perth in March 2014.
Weir’s multiple Group 1 winner was sent out as the $4 favourite for The Goodwood but never threatened to finish two and a half lengths behind the winner Vega Magic and Weir was critical of Brad Rawiller’s ride after the big bay took up a position closer to the pace than Weir had anticipated.
“I think it was rider error last time, he just rode him too close and that is the end of the story for me,” Weir said.
“Last year when he won it he came from off mid-field, this year is up box sitting and pulling.”
“He just got sucked into the good barrier, Brad, and the runs presented and he just kept taking them and it is not the right way to ride him.”
“It would have looked a good ride to a lot of people but I thought it was the wrong way to ride him.”
Rawiller has retained the ride and Weir expects him to have the six year old in fifth or sixth position from barrier four in the field that has been reduced to thirteen runners following the scratching of the Bjorn Baker trained Egyptian Symbol.
“It will be a different race I suppose. I would say a quieter ride but it is a little bit further so he might naturally land fifth or sixth hopefully,” Weir said.
“Somewhere there but certainly not up right where he was at Adelaide last week.”
Weir said that Black Heart Bart has settled into his new surroundings in Queensland well and come through last week’s run and the travelling in top order but a final decision on whether he takes his place in the field will depend on the state of track on Saturday morning.
“Everything is good. He has travelled up well and has done well since he has been there so everything looks good,” Weir said.
“The horse has had a good week and there is really no reason not to run.”
“He is tough and well and sound and fit so I don’t think it will be a problem (backing up).”
“A heavy ground would definitely be a concern to us.”
“We are keen to run but if the conditions are in the heavy range and if Peter Ellis (Weir’s track expert and form strategist) reckons it is not going to change, it might change our opinion of running.”
The Eagle Farm track was rated a heavy 8 on Friday morning with the possibility of being upgraded into the soft range for Kingsford-Smith Cup Race Day.
Betting for the Kingsford-Smith Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au has Black Heart Bart as the $3.40 favourite ahead of the Chris Waller trained Counterattack and Lindsay Park’s three year old Derryn who are both marked at $6.