Five times Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart is set to tackle Western Australian star Scales Of Justice in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
Regular rider Brad Rawiller said that Black Heart Bart has earned his 59kg top weight with his multiple Group 1 wins while Scales Of Justice has been allocated 57.5kg as he tries to win back to back Railway Stakes.
“Bart’s not getting any younger and probably Scales Of Justice is the horse on the way up but Bart’s a five-time Group 1-winning horse who’ll be ready for the opposition over the weekend,” Rawiller told racing.com.
Black Heart Bart kicked off his career under the care of top Perth trainer Vaughn Sigley before being transferred to Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir who prepared the Blackfriars gelding for his five Group 1 wins, the first being the 2016 Group 1 $500,000 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville.
Black Heart Bart then returned in the Spring to win the Group 1 $500,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 $500,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) both at Caulfield during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The then six year old added the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) and the Group 1 $500,000 italktravel Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield to his Group 1 winning tally during the 2017 Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
Black Heart Bart was held winless over the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival with his best effort being a second to Vega Magic in the Group 1 $1m New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 2 and has been freshened up after running fifth to Bonneval in the Group 1 $750,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on October 1.
Rawiller said that Black Heart Bart has recovered from a slight hoof problem since his last start in the Underwood Stakes and is in top shape for the his trip back to the West.
“I’m really happy with where he’s at. He had a little (hoof) issue all this prep and he’s had a bit of time off to concentrate on getting it right and I am sure that’s going to pay dividends in Perth,” Rawiller said.
Rawiller is no stranger to the Lindsey Smith trained Scales Of Justice and partnered the five year old in his two Melbourne Spring Carnival outings that resulted in a second to Redkirk Warrior in the Group 2 $200,000 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) down the Flemington straight on September 16 but then missed a place when seventh to Santa Ana Lane in the Group 1 $500,000 Keno Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 1.
Smith then took Scales Of Justice back to the West to prepare for the Perth Summer Carnival and the five year old finished third behind Railway Stakes rivals Silverstream and Great Shot in the Group 2 $250,000 WAROA-Lee Steere Stakes (1400km) at Ascot on November 11.
“I am sure he’s going to be the main danger to Black Heart Bart,” Rawiller said.
Early betting for the Railway Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Scales Of Justice as the $5.50 favourite just ahead of Black Heart Bart and the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Supply And Demand at $7.
Early betting for the 2017 Railway Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5.50 Scales Of Justice, $7 Supply And Demand, Black Heart Bart, $8 Tom Melbourne, $11 All Our Roads, $13 Ulmann, Sovereign Nation, $15 Silverstream, $17 Cosmic Storm, Variation, $21 Material Man, Pounamu, Royal Star (1st Em) $26 Great Shot, Gatting, $51 Disposition, Observational, $61 Tradesman (2nd Em), $101 Bollywood Blitz (3rd Em), Tonkatuff (4th Em).