Trainer Vaughn Sigley said on Tabradio he didn’t want Black Heart Bart to draw barrier one or an outside gate in the Goodwood Sprint (1200m) and ideally would prefer something in the middle like gate eight.
The Lark Hill horseman didn’t quite get his exact wish but he came mighty close with gun sprinter Black Heart Bart drawing perfectly in barrier seven for the $500,000 Group 1 feature at Morphettville on Saturday.
It gives Black Heart Bart, to be ridden by local hoop, Glenn Smith, a terrific opportunity of extending his amazing winning streak and continue the Western Australian dominance in Adelaide.
Black Heart Bart is out to emulate Delicacy’s twin Group 1 triumphs in the recent South Australian Oaks (2000m) and South Australian Derby (2500m).
Black Heart Bart tackles a field of 17 rivals after taking out the Bunbury Stakes (1400m), the Pinjarra Classic (1300m), Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m) and Summer Scorcher (1000m) in a sizzling summer and autumn campaign.
The Blackfriars gelding has opened at $4.50 with Tabtouch, shading the Phillip Stokes-trained speedster, Hucklebuck, for favouritism.
Hucklebuck is set to contest his first race of the year after a maiden Group 1 victory in the Emirate Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last November.
Hucklebuck, in the hands of Perth-born jockey, Dom Tourneur, is quoted a $4.60 chance. The four-year-old gelding will jump from gate three.
Darren Weir’s Lucky Hussler, last year’s Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) champion, will jump from barrier 11 for Glen Boss.
The Husson gelding, who has amassed $894,600 in stake earnings, is on the third line of betting at $6.50.
Adding another Western Australian flavour to the race is Chris Parnham who will steer defending Goodwood Stakes’ champion, Smokin’ Joey.
The Wez Hunter-trained Encosta De Lago gelding, who will start on the outside of Black Heart Bart, is rated a $21 chance.
Sigley acknowledges the difficult task ahead for Black Heart Bart but is confident the four-year-old is primed to take on his toughest test to date.
“We are here taking them on and stepping up to Group 1 level so it’s going to be a big challenge for us,” said Sigley.
“This is a big stepping stone against some smart horses and he will need a bit of luck, but in saying all that I’m still quietly confident.”
RWWA: Julio Santarelli