After a heartbreaking loss in the Railway Stakes, the powerful Darren Weir stable are supremely confident Perth-owned star Black Heart Bart is primed to rebound in Saturday’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
“I have to admit I was close to tears and all choked up after the race,” said Jarrod McClean, Weir’s stable foreman.
“I wasn’t upset that he ran second but just gutted for the horse who ran so bravely and so really well.
“He has been such a great horse since coming to our stable and gives you everything he has in all his races.
“It’s disappointing we got beat because we were confident going into the event, but that’s racing and we move on.”
A brave Black Heart Bart, first up off a 55 day injury break and carrying top weight of 59kg, fell agonisingly short of securing a sixth Group 1 victory in the Railway Stakes.
The Blackfriars gelding, who commenced his racing career in Perth under Vaughn Sigley, tried hard over the concluding stages, but couldn’t overhaul Great Shot, finishing a half-head second.
“He wasn't beaten that far in a handicap, but it will be a different story at weigh-for-age,” McLean said.
“I can’t see anyone from the Railway Stakes getting the better of him and beating him.
“A couple of the three-year-olds add a different element to the race and are the variables.
“There is also It’s Somewhat who missed the Railway and has settled in well recently.”
Godolphin gelding It’s Somewhat, trained by James Cummings, has not raced since running third to Tosen Stardom in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 11.
The seven-year-old rounded out his Kingston Town Classic preparation with a Belmont barrier trial, catching the eye when he raced away for a comfortable win over 1200m.
Cummings will look to follow in the footsteps of his famous grandfather, Bart Cummings, who won the Kingston Town Classic twice previously.
The legendary trainer prepared Stormy Rex in 1977 and Bounty Hawk seven years later.
Brenton Avdulla has been booked to ride It’s Somewhat, a Group 1 winner of the Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick in April.
Star three-year-old filly Perfect Reflection will fly the local flag after her dominant win in the Group 2 WA Guinea’s (1600m).
Tom Melbourne will be out to end a frustrating run of placings in feature races.
The barrier draw for the Kingston Town Classic will be conducted on Tuesday.