Horses have not made a habit of winning the 1200-metre Group 1 The Goodwood, which will be run at Morphettville this Saturday, more than once.
Mostyn became the first horse to successfully defend their crown in 1895, 14 years after the race was first run, but it hasn’t been done since Muskett Belle completed back-to-back victories in 1912.
That means Darren Weir’s Black Heart Bart will defy more than a century of history if he repeats last year’s win in South Australia’s premier sprint, which this year carries $1 million in prizemoney.
Form Focus reveals that 16 horses have attempted to defend their crown in the past 30 years, including five of the nine who won between 2007 and 2015.
Platelet, the 2013 winner who finished second in 2014, is the best of the latter group and one of only three placegetters from the 16 to try since 1987.
Black Heart Bart brings a different formline into the race than last year, when he won it after a second placing in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m), having not started since his Futurity Stakes (1400m) success on February 25.
No horse has won The Goodwood off as big a gap between runs – 84 days – in the past 30 years, but he at least comes out of a Group 1 race, as have seven of the 10 winners since The Goodwood became a set-weights-and-penalties event in 2007.
The Sangster Stakes has proven the most successful final lead-up, with the three mares to have won The Goodwood in the past 10 years all having filled a quinella slot in that event, which is restricted to fillies and mares.
Secret Agenda and Viddora, the first two home in this year’s Sangster, will run on Saturday and while Viddora meets Secret Agenda 2.5kg better for that 1.75-length defeat, there are historical positives for the Secret Agenda camp.
She will carry 56.5kg on Saturday and each of the winners since 2012 have lumped at least 56kg.
Joint 59kg topweights Black Heart Bart and Malaguerra, plus Hey Doc (57kg), are the others with at least 56kg this year whose most recent appearance was in a Group 1 race.
Like Viddora, and every other South Australian in the race, Tony McEvoy’s Hey Doc has the hometown hoodoo to overcome with the David Jolly-trained Zip Zip Array (2002) the most recent winner trained out of the host state.
Given we’re risking Black Heart Bart on account of the poor record of previous winners, that leaves us with Malaguerra and Secret Agenda, and with the Mick Price-trained mare having come through the most successful lead-up, she gets the nod narrowly over Malaguerra.