Star galloper Black Heart Bart will be rested ahead of the Spring Racing Carnival despite pleasing connections with his recovery from an unplaced run in Saturday’s Group 1 Darley Kingsford-Smith Cup(1300m) at Eagle Farm.
Darren Weir confirmed the six-year-old will not tackle next month’s Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), with the trainer instead opting to spell the gelding in Queensland ahead of a spring campaign again aimed at feature weight-for-age races.
During the 2016 spring, Black Heart Bart won the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield and was runner-up to Hall Of Fame mare Winx in the Caulfield Stakes(2000m).
Black Heart Bart’s five Group 1 victories, including four at Caulfield, have come on Good 3 rated surfaces and Weir said the Heavy conditions at Eagle Farm were the undoing of his star charge, who finished nine lengths adrift of winner Clearly Innocent.
“He is such a good horse but he got a long way back and it was very testing for him because he just doesn’t like that sort of ground, but he just ran his normal, honest, brave race,” Weir told RSN’s Correct Weight program.
“I was happy with him, he got beaten a margin but there were lots of horses that got beaten a margin on the day.
“Importantly, he’s come out of it really well and he is off to Washpool (Lodge) this morning to have three weeks off and then he’ll get back into it for the spring.”
While Black Heart Bart will be spelled, Weir will still boast strong representation across most of the remaining features in Brisbane, including the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) with last-startDoomben Roses (2000m) winner Kenedna.
In the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) Weir will also be represented by Volatile Mix, who closed to within a nose of Order Again in Saturday’s Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Eagle Farm.
And the Ballarat horseman expects the step up to 2400m in next month’s Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) to aid the cause of talented mare Neverland after she finished well from the rear of the field in Saturday’s Premier’s Cup (2200m).
A dual-Perth Cup runner-up at 2400m, the daughter of Big Brown was 12th at the 800m before closing to within a length-and-a-quarter of surprise winner Kaiser Franz in the Group 3 contest.
“She’s getting there slowly,” Weir said.
“I think the step up to 2400m (will suit) and we might change a few things around in the next fortnight and try to put a bit of speed into her legs but I think there’s win around the corner for her.”