Trainer Darren Weir has revealed the 2016 Cox Plate (2040m) will likely figure as a Spring Carnival target for Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart, when he returns to competition.
A former Perth galloper, Black Heart Bart has been a standout performer through his entire racing career so far, but has undoubtedly kicked up a gear since transferring to the care of Darren Weir this year; failing to finish worse than second through five competitive starts.
Having finished second in the Group 2 CS Cox Stakes (2100m) in what was his final start on the west coast in December, Weir told Racing Ahead the horse’s connections are interested to see how the Blackfriars gelding stacks up in a race like the 2016 Cox Plate.
“The owners are keen to try and stretch him out over a bit of distance, I think they’ve got their mind set on the Cox Plate,” Weir said.
“So we’ll head that way and see how far we get.
“He’s one of those horses that can do anything I think – he’s just a great genuine horse.
“The 2000m might stretch him a bit but there’ll be something along the way.
“They just said we’re happy to head that way and if you’re not happy, just change direction during the campaign and go to what you think.
“They’re a great bunch of blokes to train for – they just asked if we could head that way and see how far we get, so we’re more than happy to do that.”
Posting twelve wins and eleven minors through thirty-one career starts, Black Heart Bart was unlucky not to break through for a maiden win at the highest level under the care of Vaughn Sigley, but still claimed several impressive black type triumphs.
Rated little chance of making an impact in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) upon debuting for Weir in March, Black Heart Bart mustered a big turn of foot to run a close second behind The Quarterback.
Responding well when returning to winning form in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m), Black Heart Bart again finished second in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) on April 16th before finally claiming his maiden Group 1 title in The Goodwood (1200m) on June 11th.
Having returned to the paddock after finishing second in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on June 11th, Black Heart Bart is currently available at early 2016 Cox Plate odds of $41 for success at Ladbrokes.com.au.