Promising three-year-old Black Sabbath is primed to make a strong return to racing in the Australian Racing Hall Of Fame Handicap (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday, according to co-trainer Todd Harvey.
The Blackfriars gelding endured wretched luck with barrier draws last campaign, where he managed three placings from five starts.
Since then, Black Sabbath produced two sound trial performances in preparation for the upcoming campaign.
Black Sabbath had no luck at the barriers again for Saturday’s event, drawing the widest of the eight runners.
Harvey said he was excited to have Black Sabbath back at the races.
“He’s a highly talented horse,” he told The Races WA.
“He didn’t have a lot of luck over the summer with bad barriers and what have you.
“We’re excited to have him back on Saturday.”
Black Sabbath won his only two starts as a two-year-old when he raced on the speed.
Harvey said he was pleased with the manner Black Sabbath trialled and felt he could add another dimension to his racing this campaign.
“I was really happy with his last trial,” he said.
“He settled back and found the line really well, which was good because the pace was strong.
“His work has been very good since, so we’ve got a degree of confidence going in.”
Black Sabbath ($4.40) is considered the main danger to WA Guineas placegetter Flirtini ($2.05) with TABtouch.
Kate Witten has the ride on Black Sabbath and Harvey indicated the gelding would likely press forward from the wide barrier.
Should Black Sabbath perform well, Harvey said he hoped the galloper could develop into a Belmont Guineas (1600m) contender, a race they won with Tradesman in 2015.
“We will probably head to the Belmont Guineas,” he said.
“That’s the logical way to head with him.
“We will probably learn a bit more this preparation.
“You have to forgive his run in the (WA) Guineas, he had no luck at all.”
True Attraction ($4.60) and Not To Be Mist ($8.50) are the only other runners in single figures.