Brad Rawiller knows Black Heart Bart is up against Australia’s best racehorse in the Caulfield Stakes but at the same time the jockey has nothing but confidence in his horse.
And Rawiller is happy to keep tactics for Saturday close to his chest as he prepares for the 2000m weight-for-age race in which the Darren Weir-trained Black Heart Bart takes on champion Winx and outsider He Or She in a field of three.
“I don’t see what benefit it is me trying to say how I’m going to ride him,” Rawiller said.
“I think we’ll cross that path come Saturday when I speak to Darren and the team.
“There’s so many things can happen between now and then, and even wind on the day can be a factor.”
Black Heart Bart has won two Group One races in Melbourne this spring and in seven Group One starts since joining Weir’s stable has not finished worse than second.
Winx is $1.18 to make it 12-straight wins in her first Melbourne start since last year’s Cox Plate.
The Caulfield Stakes is her final lead-in to her Cox Plate defence.
Rawiller is excited about the challenge and is certainly not conceding to the Chris Waller-trained mare, saying he’s going in with nothing but confidence that Black Heart Bart “is ready to rock and roll”.
“I’m approaching it just the same as I would any other Group One,” Rawiller said.
“I always go into any race, certainly a Group One, with confidence in my horse and I certainly can do that with Black Heart Bart. He’s pretty good.
“There’s no question that Winx has got the runs on the board as far as she’s Australia’s best horse. I don’t think anyone can question that.
“If I had to vote right now, I’d say the same – that she’s Australia’s best horse.
“But Black Heart Bart can’t have done any more than he’s done. All you can do is win and when he hasn’t won he’s been so game in defeat. All those seconds you could make a pretty strong case why he could’ve won. I’m not seeing why we’re not right in the race up to our ears.”
Rawiller said he wasn’t surprised there was a small field but was surprised by only three runners.
“And with Winx and Black Heart Bart, I think a few people are pretty happy to avoid going up against them,” he said.
“But it is what it is.”