Some of Black Heart Bart’s All-Star Mile rivals are one-third his age but jockey Brad Rawiller is adamant the veteran can be a force in the $5 million race.
The second All-Star Mile is run on Saturday at Caulfield which plays into the favour of nine-year-old Black Heart Bart who has won five Group One races at the track.
Rawiller has been aboard for all of those elite-level wins, as well as the Group One Goodwood in Adelaide in 2016.
Black Heart Bart received a wild card to the 2020 All-Star Mile and is at $41 with three-year-old gelding Alligator Blood the $2.70 favourite
“He’s deserved of his chance. I know he will make his presence felt,” Rawiller said.
“He’ll give them a run for their money.
“Obviously it’s such a star-studded field and it’s not going to be an easy race, but he’ll be in it.”
Black Heart Bart was retired before being brought back into work ahead of last year’s spring carnival in the care of his new trainer Lindsey Smith.
At the third run of his spring campaign, Black Heart Bart scored an upset Group One win in the Underwood Stakes (1800m), his first victory since early 2017.
It capped not only a comeback for Black Heart Bart but also for Rawiller who returned to the saddle earlier that year after five months recovering from fractures to his neck suffered in a fall at Cranbourne.
Rawiller says Black Heart Bart means a lot to him.
“He’s a six-time Group One winner and I’ve ridden him in all those Group One wins. That’s massive in itself,” he said.
“Obviously I won seven Group Ones on Weekend Hussler and I believe he is the best horse I’ve ridden.
“But Black Heart Bart is not far behind him.
“And at the same time, what we both went through to win the Underwood last year just made it so special.”
Black Heart Bart was unplaced in his only start so far this campaign, in the Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last month, but Rawiller said there was merit in the run and from barrier six he would be able to ride him to allow him to charge late.
“I actually believe he is going better than what he was in the spring,” he said.