2017 Memsie Stakes Still on for Black Heart Bart

A brave first-up third in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday has the Darren Weir-trained Black Heart Bart on track for a title defence in the Memsie Stakes 2017 this spring despite previous concerns the horse had pulled up lame.

Black Heart Bart, above, will now head to the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Black Heart Bart, above, will now head to the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

The evergreen seven-year-old son of Blackfriars jumped second favourite in betting on the Group 2 $200,000 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) and eventually crossed just over three lengths third behind the now James Cummings-trained winner Hartnell.

Weir and connections confirmed the galloper had recovered from the weekend’s run in good order despite having undergone a vet check after pulling up slightly lame post-race.

“I did see that [the note of lameness] on the stewards’ report, but when the boys got home they had a look at home and trotted him up and he seemed fine,” Weir told Racing Victoria.

“Going forward, I think everything is good with him.

“I was happy enough with his run and he’ll improve quite a bit from the run.”

It was the first start from five-time Group 1 champion Black Heart Bart since his fifth to Clearly Innocent in the wet at Eagle Farm on May 27 in Brisbane’s Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup (1300m).

A winner of 16 of his 42 career starts to date for an impressive $3.46 million in prize money, the former WA sprint star heads towards another start at Caulfield Racecourse on September 2 in the Group 1 $1 million Memsie Stakes (1400m).

Black Heart Bart won the season’s opening Group 1 race last spring first-up and this year chases back-to-back Memsie Stakes victories for the first time since the mighty mare Sunline (2000-2001).

Pre-nomination Memsie Stakes odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au have Black Heart Bart installed as the $5.50 favourite.

Weir however warns punters the horse may be hitting peak third-up, not second-up in the Memsie Stakes field.

“He may need another one [start] to be at his top,” the record-breaking Victorian trainer said.

“He’s a horse that improves a lot between his first-up run and his second-up run but maybe this time it might be third-up before we get him rock hard fit and spot on.”

Black Heart Bart is followed closely in the futures Memsie Stakes betting markets by the Kris Lees-trained triple Group 1 champ Le Romain ($6) and Tony McEvoy’s Australian Guineas winner Hey Doc ($6.50).

Le Romain kicked off his preparation on August 5 at Randwick finishing second to Invincible Gem in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m).

Four-year-old Hey Doc was also impressive first-up earlier this month, improving on a Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) sixth from May to win Flemington’s Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) down the famous straight.

The 2017 Memsie Stakes nominations are open until midday on August 28, making now the time to get behind your earlier Group 1 racing selections at all-in pricing through Ladbrokes.com.au.


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