Trainer Darren Weir’s latest Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart is challenging for favouritism for the Stradbroke Handicap after taking out the $500,000 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville last Saturday.
Black Heart Bart is now marked at $5 at Ladbrokes.com.au just behind the Ciaron Maher trained Azkadellia who heads the market order at $4.40 for the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) to be run at Eagle Farm on June 11.
The former West Australian sprinter, now prepared by Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir, was rewarded with his first Group 1 win after being placed twice at the elite level from his previous three starts.
At his first run for the Weir stable, Black Heart Bart ran home for second to The Quarterback in the Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 12 and two runs later was runner up to English in the Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 16.
Sandwiched in between was a win in the Group 3 $150,000 Victoria Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield on March 26.
“All his runs for me have been terrific and his form before he came over to us was terrific,” Weir said.
“He has held it and it is great to see a horse like this win a Group 1 because he has deserved it.
“He is a good class horse and I have to thank the owners for sending him to me.
“He is a big gangly bugger and you would think that he would be better over a trip, but he is just the perfect horse to train.”
Weir’s plan was always to run Black Heart Bart in The Goodwood then head to Queensland to run in the Brisbane Winter Carnival’s flagship race, the Stradbroke Handicap, in three weeks.
“The plan all along was to come here and the space in between runs has been terrific,” Weir said after Black Heart Bart won The Goodwood.
“When he ran second last start we targeted this race (The Goodwood) and then three weeks into the Stradbroke, which is ideal.”
Azkadellia has been at the top of the Stradbroke Handicap market order since winning the Group 1 $1m The Coolmore Legacy Stakes (Queen Of The Turf Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’ on April 9.
The four year old mare looked good in winning a 1000m barrier trial on the new Eagle Farm track last Thursday and is scheduled to run in the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
On the third line of betting at $9 for the Stradbroke Handicap in the Lee and Anthony Freedman trainer Malaguerra who showed his class with a gutsy win in the Group 1 $500,000 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 14.
Early market order for the Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.40 Azkadellia, $5 Black Heart Bart, $9 Malaguerra, $11 Ghisoni, Delectation, Counterattack, $13 Dothraki, $15 Fell Swoop, Music Magnate, Takedown, $17 Artlee, Japonisme, Kaepernick, Rageese, $21 Sold For Song, Admiral, Danish Twist, Girl Guide, Supido, Sir Bacchus.