Tue, May 16, 4:06pm by Senior Writer
Black Heart Bart will start a clear favourite for the defence of his Goodwood Handicap title at Morphettville on Saturday after coming up with a perfect barrier.
The Darren Weir trained six-year-old has had an amazing 14 months being trained in Victoria, claiming five group 1 wins and five Group one seconds from 12 starts. His only unplaced run in that time has been when he was ninth in the Cox Plate.
He claimed his first Group 1 win in last year’s Goodwood having run fourth in the race when trained in WA the year before.
He carries 2kg more than last year to top the weights at 59kg, but after coming up with barrier two has been installed at the top of the market at $3.40.
Another former West Australian, Vega Magic, is $6 second favourite in what will be his first start for David Hayes’ team. The four-year-old drew barrier six.
Malaguerra, the winner of the Darley Classic in the Spring, and the horse who beat Black Heart Bart in the Australia Stakes back in January is on the third line of betting at $7.50, while Secret Agenda, who won the Group 1 Robert Sangster at this track two weeks ago, is at $8.
“Black Heart Bart started his Group 1 winning run in this race last year and he’s gone on to win four more races at elite level. The punters love him and from a great barrier he should get the run of the race and be hard to beat again,’’ said sportsbet.com.au’s Christian Jantzen.
There is a capacity field of 20 runners as well as three emergencies for the $1 million event.
Doomben plays host to Group 1 racing in Brisbane this weekend with the running the Doomben Cup.
Weir also has the favourite in that race with last start Flemington runner Articus at $4.40, ahead of It’s Somewhat, who is $4.50.
Weir currently trails Chris Waller by two in the battle to be Australia’s leading Group 1 trainer for the season.
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