Last start Newmarket Handicap runner-up Black Heart Bart is the headline acceptor into Saturday’s Victoria Handicap 2016 field and the early favourite to win the Caulfield Racecourse feature.
One of two Group races on the Easter Saturday line-up at the Melbourne meet, this season’s $150,000 Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) features a final field of 16 gallopers.
Carrying the 58.5kg top weight and drawn in gate eight for jockey Brad Rawiller is Darren Weir’s recent stable acquisition from Perth, Blackfriars five-year-old Black Heart Bart.
The in-form gelding sits top of the current Victoria Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $3.60 for the win as he drops down in class off a brave second when only a neck off The Quarterback in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 12.
He’s had the two weeks between runs, but rises notably in the weights from 53.5kg to 58.5kg on the weekend.
Black Heart Bart is also yet to run at the track, but has a gun record of four wins and two seconds from seven previous starts over the 1400m so will enjoy the extra metres of the Victoria Handicap.
Three other runners are also under $10 in the latest Victoria Handicap betting markets including $5.50 second pick Tried And Tired jumping from barrier 10.
Mark Zahra continues his association with the Leon & Troy Corstens-trained Niello six-year-old who comes off a Flemington win over the distance in the Listed Super Saturday Stakes (1400m) from a fortnight ago.
He has form at Caulfield and goes down a half-kilo to his good 55kg allocation for Saturday.
Rounding out the single figure fancies at $8.50 each are Charmed Harmony and Red Bomber who had mixed luck in the Victoria Handicap barrier draw coming up with gates four and 12 respectively.
Hussonet six-year-old Charmed Harmony is locally-trained and will appreciate a return to the track after two unplaced runs at Flemington this time in.
The latest was a sixth in the Newmarket Handicap, while his last win was in November’s Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m).
His latest Caulfield start produced a close fifth to Stratum Star when beaten only one and a quarter lengths in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) in the early spring.
Red Bomber is allocated the same 57kg weight as Charmed Harmony, but the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Red Ransom gelding comes off better form having won a Flemington Group 3 narrowly on March 5 carrying a half-kilo more.
Hayes & Dabernig have also accepted for returning import Guest Of Honour (barrier seven) and Group 2 winner Petrology (barrier 14).
Other notable acceptors include the other Team Corstens-trained runner Zebrinz ($10) who was only a half-length off Red Bomber last start, the Michael Moroney-trained Super Saturday runner-up Yesterday’s Songs ($12) and third in the same lead-up Coronation Shallan ($16) all getting in on the 54kg light weight.
See below for the full Victoria Handicap 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and weights along with the latest Fixed Win prices provided by Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost!