Black Heart Bart led home a Group 1 quinella for Western Australia with a comprehensive victory in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
It was the third Group 1 for the son of Scenic Lodge champion Blackfriars following the Memsie Stakes and Goodwood Hcp earlier this year. He drew clear in the final furlong to defeat He or She (Kendel Star) who is by a stallion stationed at Rivercrest Park.
The Underwood’s $302,000 first prizemoney propelled Blackfriars into a Top 5 spot on the Australian sires’ premiership with earnings over $1.21 million.
In the wake of Saturday’s easy win, Black Heart Bart firmed into a $9 second-favourite for the G1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 behind champion mare Winx ($2.50).
“I never had any doubts about him getting 1800 metres,” trainer Darren Weir said. “The opposition is going to be stronger in the Cox Plate but he will be competitive if he runs like today.
“He’s peaking at the right time and is right up to the mark now. Winx is the best horse in the country and it will be a great clash.”
Black Heart Bart (6g Blackfriars – Sister Theresa by At Talaq) has won 14 races in 34 starts for prizemoney of $2.67 million. He was bred by Scenic Lodge and made $20,000 at the 2012 Perth Magic Millions for a Geraldton syndicate headed by Kim Renner.
“That just backs up our confidence going into today’s race,” winning jockey Brad Rawiller said. “We respect Winx – she’s a star. But we’re not shying away from the Cox Pate. Bring it on – I can’t wait!”
Black Heart Bart’s dam Sister Theresa is a half-sister to G1 New Zealand Oaks winner Savannah Success (Success Express) who foaled 2004 Cox Plate winner Savabeel (Zabeel).
Blackfriars is a Group 1 Victorian Derby winning son of Danehill and stands at Scenic Lodge for a fee of $13,200 (inc gst).