Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir is very confident that his multiple Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart will be fit to defend his title in the 2017 Group 1 $1m Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 2.
The 2016 Memsie Stakes is one of Black Heart Barts’ five Group 1 wins that appear on his race record and the Blackfriars seven year old tuned up for a second win in the $1 million weight for age contest with a first up third behind Hartnell and Charmed Harmony in the Group 2 $200,000 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Weir was happy with the veteran’s 2017 Spring Carnival pipe opener and was a little bemused that he was mentioned in the stewards’ post-race report as pulling up mildly lame in the near hind leg.
“I did see that (lameness) on the stewards’ report but when the boys got home they had a look at home and trotted him up and he seemed fine,” Weir told racing.com.
“Going forward, I think everything is good with him. I was happy enough with his run.”
Jockey Brad Rawiller settled Black Heart Bart in fifth spot behind the leading division in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes and even though he didn’t threaten the first two placegetters, the big bay gelding never shirked his task in the straight and kept trying in the run to the line.
Weir is expecting him to take plenty of improvement out of the P.B. Lawrence Stakes run but said that that he is likely to peak third up in the Group 1 $750,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 16.
“He’ll improve quite a bit from the run but he may need another one to be at his top,” Weir said.
“He’s a horse that improves a lot between his first-up run and his second-up run but maybe this time it might be third-up before we get him rock hard fit and spot on.”
Early betting for the Memsie Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Black Heart Bart sharing favouritism at $6 with the Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic just ahead of the Kris Lees trained Le Romain at $6.50.
Former West Australian trained Vega Magic has had two runs for the Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig for two wins and added last Saturday’s victory in the Listed $120,000 Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield to his win in the Group 1 $1m Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville during the 2017 Adelaide Autumn Carnival.
Early market order for the Memsie Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6 Black Heart Bart, Vega Magic, $6.50 Le Romain, $7 Hey Doc, $8 Yankee Rose, $9 Brave Smash, $13 Humidor, I Am A Star, $15 Foxplay, Happy Clapper, Star Exhibit, $17 Ability, Lucky Hussler, Tosen Stardom, Ugo Foscolo, $21 He’s Our Rokkii, $26 or better the rest.