Dual Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart is one of four Darren Weir trained gallopers among the sixteen nominations for the Group 1 $500,000 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Black Heart Bart is the winner of the Group 1 $500,000 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville and the Group 1 $500,000 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and will be stepping up to 1800m for the first time this preparation after finishing second to stablemate Palentino in the Group 1 $500,000 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 10.
The other three horses nominated for the Underwood Stakes from the Weir stable are South Australian Derby winner Howard Be Thy Name, and Melbourne Cup hopefuls Prince Of Penzance and Signoff.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance caught the eye with a handy sixth in the Makybe Diva Stakes while Signoff is coming off a last start thirteenth to Awesome Rock in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 3.
The Leon and Trot Corstens trained Awesome Rock is also nominated for the Underwood Stakes and gets his chance to continue on his winning way towards the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Lucia Valentina will be making her first Melbourne Spring Carnival appearance in the Underwood Stakes after having one run in Sydney for a fourth to Winx in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 20.
The Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Our Ivanhowe will appreciate the step up in distance to the 1800m coming off a first up fifth over 1600m in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
Our Ivanhowe raced up to his potential when he took out the Group 1 $650,000 Hardy Brothers Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Caulfield trainer Mick Price is expecting vast improvement from Victoria Derby winner Tarzino when he steps out in the Underwood Stakes and the front running The Cleaner will ensure that there is a genuine pace from the outset.
Early market order for the Underwood Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.20 Black Heart Bart, $3.80 Lucia Valentina, $6.50 Our Ivanhowe, $9 Awesome Rock, $13 Tavago, $15 He Or She, $16 Tarzino, $21 Prince Of Penance, $26 Big Memory, Entirely Platinum, The Cleaner, $31 Jacquinot Bay, Signoff, $34 Howard Be Thy Name, $51 The Bandit, $201 Transfer Allowance.
2016 Underwood Stakes Nominations
|1||AWESOME ROCK||Leon & Troy Corstens||109|
|2||BIG MEMORY (FR)||Tony McEvoy||98|
|3||BLACK HEART BART||Darren Weir||114|
|4||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||102|
|5||HE OR SHE||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||104|
|6||HOWARD BE THY NAME||Darren Weir||98|
|7||JACQUINOT BAY||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||104|
|8||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||114|
|9||OUR IVANHOWE (GER)||Lee & Anthony Freedman||112|
|10||PRINCE OF PENZANCE (NZ)||Darren Weir||113|
|11||SIGNOFF (IRE)||Darren Weir||107|
|12||TARZINO (NZ)||Mick Price||109|
|13||TAVAGO (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||108|
|14||THE BANDIT (JPN)||John Sadler||78|
|15||THE CLEANER||Peter Gelagotis||109|
|16||TRANSFER ALLOWANCE||Peter Roche||72|