Black Heart Bart was back on public view for the first time since the G1 Kingston Town Stakes when he galloped between races at Terang on Tuesday.
Trainer Darren Weir sent him around for an 800m hit-out with Brad Rawiller aboard and he was never out of second gear while clocking 47.55s. “Brad had a good hold,” stable foreman Jarrod McLean said. “The horse sweated a bit and got excited – he thought it was race-day.”
Black Heart Bart (Blackfriars) will start first-up in the G1 C F Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 10. He defeated NZ star Turn Me Loose by a length in last year’s weight-for-age feature with a run under his belt in the G2 Australia Day Stakes.
The WA-bred star will also be having his first start since the death of his sire Blackfriars in December. He’s the leading earner for the Scenic Lodge champion with 16 wins in 47 starts and over $3.93 million in prizemoney.
“He had problems with his feet last year but they’re as good as they’ve been for a long time,” McLean added. “And today’s gallop would have really brought him on for the Orr Stakes. It’s going to be a great contest between the stablemates – I thought Tosen Stardom would win after we galloped him at Ballarat last week but now I’m swinging back to Bart.”
Blackfriars has 24 yearlings entered for the Perth Magic Millions and there’s every chance of another Group 1 update at Caulfield albeit a week after the WA Sale. His filly from For Your Eyes Only (Lot 68) is a half-sister to Secret Lady who is backing up in the Blue Diamond series after an impressive fifth in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic on the Gold Coast.
“She came back home looking like she was ready to win,” Sydney trainer Gary Portelli said in the lead-up to the G3 Blue Diamond Fillies Preview this Saturday. “She one of those horses who carries a bit more condition than most and now she looks like she’s right. We thought we would nominate and, if she draws well enough, we will run her.”
Scenic Lodge has catalogued a Blackfriars half-sister to G2 Karrakatta Plate winner Lucy Mae (Lot 125) and a Snippetson half-brother to Blackfriars 2yo filly Assetro (Lot 254).
Assetro looked a feature winner for sure when winning first time out at Ascot on New Year’s Day. She was spelled by trainer Adam Durrant ahead of the G2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m) in April.