It’s the final roll of the dice for Black Heart Bart who can overcome a distance query when his Ascot carnival draws to a close in the C.B.Cox Stakes (2100m).
The son of Blackfriars has won 10 races from 25 starts and is closing in on equine millionaire status, but the jury is out on whether he can run out a staying trip.
Black Heart Bart has yet to claim success beyond 1420m and was unplaced as a three-year-old in the Melvista Stakes (2200m) and WA Derby (2400m).
Trainer Vaughn Sigley says Black Heart Bart’s future racing plans will become much clearer after he contests the Group 2 Cox Stakes on Saturday.
“Probably horses like Delicacy are better suited over the 2100m to what Black Heart Bart has shown in the past,” Sigley said on TABradio.
“He will have this run and we will just see how he goes in it because it’s been a thought with the owners and myself about him getting over ground.
“He may be better suited to the sprints but while he is at this part of his campaign I thought we would have a roll at the stumps.
“If he doesn’t work out we have put that one to bed and he will probably concentrate on the sprint races.”
Black Heart Bart is looking to end his campaign in the same blistering fashion as he started in October after a feature trifecta in the Listed Birthday Stakes (1200m), the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1420m) and the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m).
His winning streak and dual Group 1 plans came to a shuddering halt when he was caught behind on a leaders track in the Railway Stakes (1600m) and not favoured by a heavy surface in the Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
Sigley said irrespective of Black Heart Bart’s performance over the staying journey in the Cox Stakes, the gelding was headed to a leading stable in Victoria and would not run in the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) on January 2.
“The plan at this stage is to go to the paddock for a couple of weeks and send him over east,” Sigley said.
“You will find he will be going to Darren Weir who is on fire with his horses over there.”
Black Heart Bart, given a top draw in barrier two for Glenn Smith, is $11 with the TAB. The market is dominated by gun mare Delicacy after her brave runner-up finish to stable mate Perfect Reflection in last fortnight’s Kingston Town Classic.
At $5 and the only other runner in the field of 11 under single figure odds is Real Love, prepared by Adam Durrant, who is chasing his third win in the race after previous success with Mr Moet (2012) and Lords Ransom (2009).
Sigley and Smith are chasing their first Cox Stakes victory after going close in 2013 when Rohan ran third behind Ihtsahymn.
rwwa: Julio Santarelli