Black Heart Bart is on top of the 2016 Stradbroke Handicap tips of Daniel O’Sullivan and the leading form expert believes that the consistent galloper can carry the top weight to victory in the Group 1 event at Eagle Farm this afternoon.
Black Heart Bart finished last in the Stradbroke Handicap last year, but his form in the lead-up to the 2016 edition of the race can’t be faulted after taking out The Goodwood and finishing second in both the Newmarket Handicap and the All Aged Stakes.
O’Sullivan told Racing Active that Black Heart Bart ticks a lot of boxes heading into the Stradbroke Handicap and he is confident that the Blackfriars gelding will be a factor in the finish.
“He is one of the leading chances,” O’Sullivan said.
“Black Heart Bart is a genuine weight-for-age horse and he has proven himself this preparation at that level.
“He was a very close second to English in the All Aged Stakes, which was a serious Group 1 contest, and he comes into this off that Goodwood win.
“His last three ratings are right up to the level needed to win this – even with the 58 kilograms – and I have him around $5.50 in the market.
“He is my top pick in the race and he has ratings quality, the consistency in his recent figures and barrier ten is a great draw for this horse.”
While O’Sullivan believes that Black Heart Bart is the horse to beat in the Stradbroke Handicap, the best-backed runner has been Ciaron Maher-trained Azkadellia, who is into $3.40 to win a second Group 1 event.
O’Sullivan admits that Azkadellia is one of the leading chances in the Stradbroke Handicap, but he said that he can’t get the talented mare anywhere near as short as her current price.
“She is a terrific chance here,” O’Sullivan said.
“Even going back to last spring, she promised to be a Group 1 mare and she was very unlucky not to win behind Politeness in the Myer Classic.
“In the Sydney Autumn she came back and got that Group 1 win in the Queen Of The Turf and she was third behind Winx in the Doncaster, which is a great form line.
“Her first-up run at Doomben was ok and it is a bit conflicting depending on how you look at it.
“She comes into this race with similar performance figures to Black Heart Bart and she is certainly capable of winning the race, but I only have her around the $6 mark, which is significantly longer than the market.
“She is getting in way too short here.”
Azkadellia is currently available at 2016 Stradbroke Handicap odds of $3.40 and she is a clear favourite from Black Heart Bart ($6.50), Counterattack ($8), Music Magnate ($9) and Malaguerra ($12).