Black Heart Bart is the opening $3.20 favourite to defend his title in the Group 1 Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville next Saturday, May 20.
No horse has won Adelaide’s premier sprint in consecutive years since Musket Belle in 1911-12 but bookmakers have installed him market-leader from Vega Magic ($6) with Hey Doc and Malaguerra the only other runners in single-figures at $9.
Black Heart Bart will be gunning for a Group 1 hat-trick in the Goodwood following victories in the C F Orr Stakes and Futurity Stakes at Caulfield in February. Trainer Darren Weir has kept him up to the mark with recent hit-outs at Burrumbeet, Ballarat and Warrnambool.
Stable foreman Jarrod McLean confirmed the son of Scenic Lodge sire Blackfriars will have another gallop at Warrnambool on Tuesday morning before travelling to Adelaide. “Darren has timed his run to perfection. It’s a very strong field but it would take a brave man to say he can’t go back-to-back.”
In 13 starts for Weir, the former West Australian has only finished outside the top two once and that was on a soft track in last year’s Cox Plate. “He’s a sound horse and he eats everything you put in front of him,” McLean said. “The more you feed him, the more you work him and that’s why he’s a good horse because he just comes up every time.
“He’s certainly the best horse I’ve ever dealt with.”
A Goodwood victory will send his earnings past $4 million and Weir hasn’t ruled out the possibility of sending him north for the G1 Stradbroke Hcp (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 10.
Win, lose or draw, Black Heart Bart will be crowned WA Horse of the Year a second time in 2016-17 and Blackfriars will win the WA sires’ premiership for an amazing seventh season in a row.
Scenic Lodge stands Blackfriars (Danehill) for a $12,000 (plus gst) service fee.