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Short-priced favourite Black Heart Bart will face eight rivals in the 2017 Futurity Stakes field at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday coming off the CF Orr Stakes win.
A fortnight back the Darren Weir-trained Blackfriars six-year-old posted his fourth Group 1 success taking out the CF Orr Stakes over the track and distance he returns to on Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
Due to run as Caulfield Race 5 at 2:50pm (AEDT), this season’s $500,000 Group 1 italktravel Futurity Stakes (1400m) drew just nine final acceptors led by four Weir-trained runners.
Black Heart Bart jumps from barrier six, which last produced a winner in Moment Of Change (2014), and Brad Rawiller continues associations with the gun galloper.
In the CF Orr Stakes, the race that has produced three of the past four Futurity Stakes winners, Black Heart Bart posted a one length win from barrier 11 of 12.
He should relish a smaller field and better barrier and come into the race rock hart fit third-up on the weekend looking to continue his undefeated record over the 1400m at Caulfield (3-3-0-0).
Weir’s other chances of training his maiden Futurity Stakes winner are dual Group 1 winner Lucky Hussler (4), Japanese import Tosen Stardom (2) to be ridden by Craig Williams first-up and Palentino (7).
Mark Zahra retains the ride on four-year-old Teofilo stallion Palentino who has run fourth in his two lead-up runs this autumn.
The first was in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley, where Black Heart Bart ran second to Malaguerra, and the second was in the CF Orr Stakes when only one and a half lengths off his winning stablemate.
From four previous Caulfield runs Palentino is yet to finish in the money and the horse is after his first turf triumph since beating Black Heart Bart home to win Flemington’s Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) over the mile last September.
The defending Futurity Stakes winner Turn Me Loose is in the mix again in 2017, the Murray Baker-trained Kiwi back down under and in top form.
A five-year-old son of Iffraaj, the stallion finished seventh in the Australia Stakes over the unsuitably short sprint distance before running just a length back for second in the CF Orr Stakes at juicy $26 odds.
Last Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival Turn Me Loose won the Futurity Stakes second-up out of a CF Orr Stakes fourth and looks on track for a similar finish in 2017.
The other key final acceptors and the rails-drawn Ecuador for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott coming off a CF Orr Stakes third and late entry Attention for Peter & Paul Snowden.
Also in the mix for Saturday week’s $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington, last start Autumn Stakes runner-up Attention instead takes on the older gallopers this weekend with the team unsure how the three-year-old Stratum colt will go over a mile.
2017 Futurity Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 5 (2:50pm) – 25/02/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||2x12129x21||BLACK HEART BART||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||6||59kg||114|
|2||129x791x70||LUCKY HUSSLER||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||4||59kg||111|
|3||4160x88x72||TURN ME LOOSE (NZ)||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Kerrin McEvoy||5||59kg||112|
|4||0x51709x4x||TOSEN STARDOM (JPN)||Darren Weir||Craig Williams||2||59kg||108|
|5||34623036×7||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss||8||59kg||103|
|6||x451008x44||PALENTINO||Darren Weir||Mark Zahra||7||59kg||111|
|7||706116×113||ECUADOR (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Adam Hyeronimus||1||59kg||109|
|8||211x1110x8||HE’S OUR ROKKII (NZ)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Dwayne Dunn||3||59kg||108|
|9||x710210x52||ATTENTION||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||9||55.5kg||86|
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