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Trainer Darren Weir will be after back-to-back wins in the 2018 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes this autumn not only with the defending champ Black Heart Bart but also with his smart Japanese expat Tosen Stardom.
Opening the elite level action of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, this season’s Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) steals the show at Caulfield Racecourse on February 10.
Last year Weir prepared Black Heart Bart to win both it and the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at the same track and distance a fortnight later.
Twelve months on and the master Victorian trainer has another strong hand in the weight-for-age feature with the reigning winner Black Heart Bart and stablemate Tosen Stardom dominating all-in CF Orr Stakes betting.
Current favourite in the pre-field CF Orr Stakes odds at race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au is the latter, Deep Impact seven-year-old Tosen Stardom ($4.50).
The gun entire is a dual Group 1 winner down under thinks to a stellar spring in Melbourne headlined by wins in the Toorak Handicap (1600m) and Emirates Stakes (2000m).
Last year Tosen Stardom bypassed the CF Orr Stakes and resumed with a devastatingly close second in the Futurity Stakes behind his stablemate.
This time around Weir’s stable foreman Jarrod McLean confirmed plans to kick Tosen Stardom’s autumn off earlier in the CF Orr after the horse’s good piece of work at Ballarat last week.
“After he galloped at Ballarat last week and then trialled yesterday at Camperdown, where he was really good, I thought he’d win the Orr,” McLean told Racing Victoria.
McLean however added that fellow seven-year-old Black Heart Bart was now his CF Orr Stakes tip, the current $5 second favourite out to atone for a last start ninth in Perth’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) from early December.
“I’m nearly swinging back to Black Heart Bart [to win the CF Orr Stakes] the way he worked [on Tuesday at Terang],” McLean added.
“It’s going to be a great contest.
“They quinella’d a Group One at Caulfield over 1400 metres [the Futurity Stakes] and I see no reason, two and a half weeks out, that they can’t do the same again.”
Black Heart Bart has not won a race since last autumn’s Futurity with feet issues to blame.
The $3.9 million earner however showed those foot problems were behind him working between races at Terang on Tuesday with Brad Rawiller aboard for the smart 800m hit-out.
“I clocked him running 47.55 [seconds] and he was doing that with ease. Brad had a good hold of him,” McLean said.
“Obviously the track has firmed up here with a warm day as the day has gone on. He just had the day out, the road trip, a bit of excitement.
“He sweated a bit, thinks he’s at the races, and that should bring him on now to see him defend his Orr crown in a couple of weeks’ time.
“He’s lovely and sound and his feet are as good as they’ve been for a long time.”
To get behind Weir’s CF Orr Stakes 2018 horses at the right price this autumn visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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