Where are all the alpha-males when it comes time to stand up and be counted against Winx?
The champion mare has drawn just two rivals for the G1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on Saturday and they’re both a couple of 6yo geldings that were born and bred on the other side of the continent in Western Australia.
Winx has opened a $1.20 favourite ahead of Black Heart Bart ($4.50) and He Or She ($26).
Black Heart Bart is by Scenic Lodge Champion Blackfriars and He Or She is a son of Rivercrest Farm sire Kendel Star.
In seven Group 1 starts since crossing the Nullabor, Black Heart Bart has not finished worse than second and that gives his regular rider Brad Rawiller plenty of confidence. “I’m excited about the challenge and by no means conceding to the mare – we’re in the race up to our ears,” Rawiller told AAP. “He’s pretty good and is ready to rock and roll.
“Winx has got the runs on the board as Australia’s best horse. But all you can do is win and when Black Heart Bart hasn’t won, he’s been so game in defeat.”
Rawiller won’t talk tactics with Darren Weir and his team until Saturday. “There’s so many things can happen between now and then. Plus, it’s a weight-for-age race and there’s no point talking about our plan of attack too far out.”
He Or She is the outsider of the three-horse field and Lindsay Park trainer David Hayes is hoping he can gate-crash the party. “I was going to run him in the Cranbourne Cup on Sunday but decided to change tack with third place earning $54,000.
“We’re going to sit back and try to pick them up late. I’ve got a feeling He Or She might split the other two.”
Blackfriars is coming off another big week back home in WA. He sired four winners – Indi Pacific, The Karnup Kid, Lolong and The Temptress – at Northam on Wednedsay and there’s more in store at Bunbury’s stand-alone meeting this Saturday.