A small seven starter field faces off in the Group race in Perth this Saturday with the Northerly Stakes 2015 beginning to warm things up at Ascot Racecourse for the upcoming Summer Carnival.
Due to run as Ascot Race 5 at 3:45pm (local time), this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m) diminutive field of middle-distance sprinters is led by Black Heart Bart.
Drawn a treat on the rails and set to get the run of the race with Glenn Smith in the saddle, the Vaughn Sigley-trained Blackfriars five-year-old comes off a Listed Birthday Stakes (1200m) win at Belmont first-up at the start of the month.
He faced just seven rivals from gate two with Smith aboard on the same 57.5kg he carries this weekend and has run second in two of his three previous second-up runs.
Paying $2.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au in the latest Northerly Stakes odds, Black Heart Bart is looking to continue a gun record at the track (15-4-5-2) at a distance he has run out of the money just once from five starts over with two wins and two seconds.
Three of his rivals are also under double figures in an open Northerly Stakes betting market with the Darren McAuliffe-trained mare Fuchsia Bandana ($3.60) coming off a Birthday Stakes second after back-t-back Group 3 wins at Belmont in the winter, in-form McFlirt mare Wink And Nod ($4.20) and Dawn Approach ($6) coming off a third to his better fancied stablemate in the Birthday Stakes.
So can the favourite salute for the punters in Saturday’s Northerly Stakes or is there value tipping an upset result from the likes of one of the other single-figure hopes or ever the returning Balmont Girl ($19) who was runner-up to Fuchsia Bandana over 2000m last start on June 27?
#1 Black Heart Bart ($2.50)
The deserving favourite who is a class above most of these with the top record at the track, distance and over the 1400m at Ascot (3-1-2-0). Did it first-up from barrier two over 1200m and should be even better going out more in distance second-up this weekend from the inside alley. He has Group 1 form interstate, has his regular rider Smith in the saddle and is at an advantage at set weights (plus penalties).
#5 Fuchsia Bandana ($3.60)
Tipping the same one-two as the Birthday Stakes quinella with Trade Fair mare Fuchsia Bandana a quarter length off Black Heart Bart that day and likely running for second again here. She had barrier one and he two last time out, reversed for the rematch with jockey Jarrad Noske retaining the ride from gate two on her here. She’s got a 50% winning strike rate at Ascot (8-4-1-1) and her second-up record is impressive (4-3-0-1) as was her winter form that saw her win back-to-back Group 3s over further distance.
#7 Resonates ($17)
The value in the market lies in another mare, the Gavin Slater-trained daughter of Teofilo at double figures for an upset over a distance she’s well proven at (7-4-0-1). Probably not a winning chance, but barrier four is a nice starting point and she won her last tart at the track in black-type company over 1430m in April by a blistering four lengths. Champion WA hoop William Pike rides her and she has the 54.5kg lightweight putting her into exotics.
To get behind your selections across the nation this weekend including at Caulfield for Cup Day in Melbourne, make sure you have an account open at Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on all the Caulfield races on Saturday and good Perth racing odds also!