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Darren Weir’s stable foreman Jarrod McClean has named the Godolphin galloper It’s Somewhat as the big danger to their favourite Black Heart Bart in 2017 Kingston Town Classic betting this weekend in W.A.
Of the 15 weight-for-age horses engaged for the Group 1 $1 million Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday, the best two in betting are five-time Group 1 champion Black Heart Bart and the James Cummings-trained It’s Somewhat.
The duo pay $3.30 and $5 respectively in the latest Kingston Town Classic odds at Ladbrokes.com.au and both hail from interstate stables.
Black Heart Bart however is a former Perth galloper still owned and raced by W.A. connections who is out to add to his Group 1 tally with his first elite level win in the west on Saturday.
His lead-up run was the eye-catching but ultimately heart-breaking second in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m), the seven-year-old fitter for the run and far better suited to the WFA conditions of the Kingston Town Classic.
“I have to admit I was close to tears and all choked up after the race,” McClean told Racing and Wagering Western Australia.
“I wasn’t upset that he ran second but just gutted for the horse who ran so bravely and so really well.
“He has been such a great horse since coming to our stable and gives you everything he has in all his races.
“It’s disappointing we got beat because we were confident going into the event, but that’s racing and we move on.”
Also working in favour of Black Heart Bart in the Kingston Town Classic on the weekend is the favourable inside barrier one draw, the same gate the fellow Weir-trained Stratum Star won the race from 12 months earlier.
McClean is confident Black Heart Bart is the one to beat on the weekend, ruling out a challenge from any of the other Railway Stakes graduates in the race, including Chris Waller’s third placegetter Tom Melbourne ($8).
“He wasn’t beaten that far in a handicap, but it will be a different story at weigh-for-age,” McLean said.
“I can’t see anyone from the Railway Stakes getting the better of him and beating him.”
He does however know there could be a danger in It’s Somewhat who makes his Perth racing debut on Saturday on the back of a winning Belmont trial win on November 27.
“There is also It’s Somewhat who missed the Railway and has settled in well recently,” McClean said.
Also a seven-year-old, Dynaformer gelding It’s Somewhat chases his first victory since the Group 2 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast back in May.
His latest run meanwhile was the good third in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 11.
Also presenting a possible challenge to Black Heart Bart in the Kingston Town Classic field this summer according to McClean are the three-year-old lightweights in the mix.
“A couple of the three-year-olds add a different element to the race and are the variables,” he said.
The best fancied of the three-year-old trio is the Grant & Alana Williams-trained WA Guineas winning filly Perfect Jewel ($6).
Achernar Star ($10) and Money Maher ($26) are the other locally-trained youngsters in the mix who ran second and seventh respectively behind Perfect Jewel in the Group 2 W.A. Guineas (1600m) a fortnight back.
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