Premiership winning trainer Darren Weir has no concerns that Black Heart Bart will run the distance in the 1800m Group 1 $500,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Black Heart Bart was run down by stablemate Palentino when second in the Group 1 $500,000 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes over 1600m at Flemington on September 10 but Weir said he was happy with the run and the extra 200m won’t be problem.
“If Palentino, who is a pretty good horse, wasn’t in the race, he wins by two lengths and then there wouldn’t have been any talk about him not running a mile,” Weir told the Herald Sun.
“He ran really well. He’ll take improvement from the run and he also pulled a bit. He also was exposed just a little bit early, too. He’s fit. He’s in good form and 1800m isn’t a concern to me.”
Weir has kept Black Heart Bart up to the mark with an 800m jump out at Casterton on Tuesday and regular rider Brad Rawiller is back in the saddle taking over from Damien Oliver.
Black Heart Bart has drawn barrier seven and is one of three runners Weir will saddle up in the Underwood Stakes, the others being Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance (Barrier 8) with John Allen to ride and Howard Be Thy Name (barrier 5) with Mark Zahra in the saddle.
Oliver will be reunited with Lucia Valentina in the Underwood Stakes and has drawn barrier six in the eleven horse field.
Oliver rode Lucia Valentina to victory in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 9 and will be replacing Kerrin McEvoy who was aboard when the Kris Lees trained mare resumed for a fourth to Winx in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 20.
Trainer Mick Price has taken the blinkers off Tarzino and is hoping the Victoria Derby winner can settle nicely in the second half of the field from barrier ten with regular rider Craig Newitt in the saddle again.
Tarzino has been unplaced at his two Spring Carnival runs and Price is expecting improvement on his first up eighth to Black Heat Bart in the Group 1 $500,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 27 and his last start tenth to Palentino in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
Awesome Rock is chasing back to back wins after taking out the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 3 and Stephen Baster should be able to give him the run of the race from barrier two.
The 1800m of the Underwood Stakes will suit Our Ivanhowe better following his first up fifth to Palentino in the Makybe Diva Stakes and the German import has drawn barrier three with Kerrin McEvoy to ride.
The Cleaner always guarantees the pace is on from the outset and jockey Steven Arnold will take the nine year old to the lead again from the outside gate.
Market order for the Underwood Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.70 Black Heart Bart, $3.90 Lucia Valentina, $7.50 Awesome Rock, $8.50 Our Ivanhowe, $11 He Or She, $14 Tarzino, $15 Tavago, $17 The Cleaner, $26 Jacquinot Bay, $31 Prince Of Penance, $61 Howard Be Thy Name.