One of the top fancies for the Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben Racecourse this weekend, Black Heart Bart will have all his final work ahead of the $2 million classic at the Deagon training track on Brisbane’s Northside.
Queensland’s richest race, the Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) steals the show in the Sunshine State on Saturday and early markets at Ladbrokes on the clash have Vaughn Sigley’s Perth visitor Black Heart Bart as one of the top fancies.
The Blackfriars four-year-old however won’t get a run at Doomben before his big test with the Lark Hill-based Sigley confirming he would keep him at the training course at Deagon leading up to the Group 1.
A winner of four straight black types back in Western Australia during the summer, Black Heart Bart had his interstate debut over east in Adelaide’s Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 16.
He went out as a $4.80 shot and raced accordingly, finishing a brave fourth behind Flamberge when beaten one and three-quarter lengths with his regular hoop Glenn Smith also travelling over for the assignment.
Now he is in Queensland and gearing up for the famous Stradbroke over 1350m, an amended distance with the handicap classic traditionally held over 1400m at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
Smith gave the galloper a good hit-out at Deagon the right-handed way over the weekend last Saturday on the main grass to bring him on for the week ahead and the Grand Final at Doomben.
“I told Glenn to push him around the turn and he handled it very well,” Sigley told The West.
“We had him off the bit on the corner to see if he’d drift but he didn’t. He handled it really well.
“Glenn always felt he would handle the opposite direction because he tends to get on the wrong leg going anti-clockwise.”
While a host of the other Stradbroke Handicap-bound sprinters will be on show at Doomben on Tuesday morning as part of the Breakfast with the Stars, Sigley won’t be taking Black Heart Bart to the track until race day.
“We won’t bother going to Doomben. He can have a final gallop on Wednesday here (Deagon),” he said.
Sigley was also looking forward to the Stradbroke Handicap barrier draw on Wednesday morning where he was hoping for a nice alley to help boost his galloper’s hopes in the lucrative middle-distance sprint.
“Hopefully we can get a good marble on Wednesday,” he said.
While Sigley will be hoping for a good barrier, recent history shows double digit barriers haven’t been a death sentence with both River Lad (2014) and Linton (2013) getting the job down from out wide in gates 15 and 16 respectively.
That statistic however is made somewhat redundant this winter with Eagle Farm a much roomier course and the tighter Doomben circuit likely to suit those drawn closer to the rail.
Current Stradbroke Handicap betting meanwhile is led by Robert Smerdon’s The Straight Six winning filly Lumosty who comes off back-to-back wins at Flemington.
She however is in danger of missing a run in the Stradbroke Handicap field sitting 21st on the latest order of entry with only 50.5kg, the weights topped by Chris Waller’s Doomben 10,000 winner Boban (58kg) who is an unlikely final acceptor.