Jockey Kerrin McEvoy will take over for Brad Rawiller in the saddle of the Darren Weir-trained Black Heart Bart who shoots for his first Group 1 win in Saturday’s 2016 All Aged Stakes in Sydney.
Formerly prepared in Perth, Blackfriars gelding Black Heart Bart transferred to the Wangoom stables of Melbourne Cup winning trainer Weir earlier in the year.
The five-year-old debuted for Weir at Flemington on March 12 and made an immediate impact crossing only a neck away second to upset winner The Quarterback in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
The horse then broke his Melbourne maiden next-up enjoying a step down in class and step up in distance for a quarter-length victory over Charmed Harmony at Caulfield on March 26 in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m).
Black Heart Bart races over the same distance this weekend but runs the other way of racing for his first Sydney assignment in the $600,000 Group 1 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m).
Weir has engaged the services of McEvoy for the weight-for-age feature at Royal Randwick Racecourse, a race both he and the hoop chase their maiden wins in.
It was a gutsy win by Black Heart Bart last time out carrying 58.5kg and he should be better placed with the 59kg in Saturday’s weight-for-age assignment.
“He’s a tough horse,” Weir, who chases a 12th career Group 1 win on the weekend, told AAP this week.
“He’s just a great workman-type horse with a massive will to win. And a bloody good galloper as well.”
McEvoy posted his 52nd Group 1 victory last Saturday at the track aboard Gallante in the Sydney Cup over the two miles, while Black Heart Bart lines-up in his sixth elite level assignment this weekend.
Pre-field All Aged Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au currently have Chris Waller’s Caulfield Guineas winning colt Press Statement, third to Winx last time out in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m), as the $3.40 favourite.
Top fancy for Brisbane’s $1.5 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) this winter Malaguerra is the next best in All Aged Stakes betting for the weekend at $4.40, just ahead of the Gai Waterhouse-trained filly English ($4.60) after her Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) third on April 2.
Black Heart Bart meanwhile pays $5 as the fourth favourite in an open market before Waller’s 2015 Doncaster Mile champ Kermadec, last in his title defence in the same race last start, rounds out the single figure hopes at $6.50.
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