A midweek summer meeting at Terang in country Victoria has had added star power with multiple Group One winner Black Heart Bart making an appearance for a race day gallop.
The Darren Weir-trained gelding galloped solo between races on Tuesday with his regular jockey Brad Rawiller aboard in preparation for his defence of the C F Orr Stakes.
Weir’s Warrnambool stable foreman Jarrod McLean was delighted with the 800m hit-out.
“I clocked him running 47.55 (seconds) and he was doing that with ease. Brad had a good hold of him,” McLean told broadcaster Racing.com.
“Obviously the track has firmed up here with a warm day as the day has gone on. He just had the day out, the road trip, a bit of excitement.
“He sweated a bit, thinks he’s at the races, and that should bring him on now to see him defend his Orr crown in a couple of weeks time.”
Black Heart Bart won the Orr Stakes and Futurity Stakes Group One double over 1400m at Caulfield in February last year, with the Futurity the seven-year-old gelding’s most recent win.
Feet issues plagued him during a winless spring, but he almost claimed another Group One win when beaten in a photo finish to the Railway Stakes during a two-run campaign in Perth in November and December.
McLean said Black Heart Bart was in great order heading towards the Orr on February 10.
“He’s lovely and sound and his feet are as good as they’ve been for a long time,” McLean said.
Japanese import Tosen Stardom, winner of two Group One races during the spring in Melbourne, is another of the Weir team on a path to resume in the Orr.
“After he galloped at Ballarat last week and then trialled yesterday at Camperdown, where he was really good, I thought he’d win the Orr,” McLean said.
“But I’m nearly swinging back to Black Heart Bart the way he worked. It’s going to be a great contest.
“They quinella’d a Group One at Caulfield over 1400 metres (Futurity) and I see no reason, two and a half weeks out, that they can’t do the same again.”