Black Heart Bart, Brad Rawiller and Blackfriars are on the cusp of a history-making victory in the G1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot.
Saturday’s million-dollar handicap has a roll-call featuring some of the State’s greatest gallopers of the modern era but none have won lumping 59kg or more since Tudor Mak in 1967.
Black Heart Bart was allocated 59kg for this year’s edition and that’s a reasonable assessment given he carried the same steadier winning the G1 Memsie, G1 Underwood, G1 Orr and G1 Futurity at weight-for-age last season.
“He’s been as game as ever this prep but hasn’t been 100%,” Rawiller said of his all-time favourite. “He’s had hoof issues and has still run admirably against top-class fields in Melbourne. He’s been given a bit of extra time to be at his best and it won’t be fitness that beats him on Saturday.”
The Darren Weir-trained gelding has been off the scene following a midfield finish behind NZ mare Bonneval at Caulfield on October 1 and he hasn’t been seen in Perth since going down a length to Delicacy in the 2015 C B Cox Stakes.
Black Heart Bart had won 6 times in 20 starts at Ascot before transferring to Victoria and he’s drawn favourably at the tricky 1600m barrier. “He’s earned top-weight,” Rawiller added. “Five Group 1 wins is a fantastic record coming into this race like this.
“His spring carnival ended early so that enabled him to have a good rest at the farm and on the beach at Warrnambool. He left in great shape and has never looked better since arriving in Perth.”
A Railway will be a first for Blackfriars. The Scenic Lodge champion has sired winners of the Perth Cup, Kingston Town Classic & WATC Derby but not Perth’s premier mile.
Blackfriars has been represented by more stakes winners (36) than any other sired based solely in WA. He’s bearing down on another record and should break through the 400 individual winners milestone during the summer carnival.
Scenic Lodge stands Blackfriars for $12,000 beside Snippetson ($6,000), Universal Ruler ($3,500) & Dash For Cash ($2,500). All fees (plus gst) and are subject to discount structures. For further details, contact Jeremy Smith on 0419 943 356.