Cox Plate hopeful Black Heart Bart has had his first look around Moonee Valley on a morning when several Darren Weir-trained stars stretched their legs at the Melbourne racetrack.
Weir took Black Heart Bart and seven other horses including Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance to gallop at the Valley on Thursday morning, with the winner of last Saturday’s Underwood Stakes working solo over 800m.
The trainer said he looked to get around the course where the Cox Plate is run really well.
“I think he’s one of those horses, it wouldn’t matter what you did with him he would just go and run well wherever you took him,” Weir said.
Black Heart Bart’s Underwood win over 1800m on Saturday set up a clash with champion mare Winx in Saturday week’s Group One Caulfield Stakes (2000m), a traditional lead-in to the Cox Plate.
Weir expects Black Heart Bart will get to the Caulfield Stakes in great shape for his biggest test.
“Looking at him walking around this morning before he galloped he still looked big and full in condition, and he only ran five days ago. So he’s in great shape,” Weir said.
“He’ll have a good piece of work probably on Wednesday between races at Warrnambool, or maybe Tuesday if we can get on the course down there, and he’ll be in terrific shape.
“Whether he’s good enough or not, I’m not sure, but I’m sure he’ll run well.”
Weir was particularly pleased with Prince Of Penzance who strode out well at the end of his work when paired with South Australian Derby winner Howard Be Thy Name, sitting off him before striding past in the final 100m.
“Obviously the Moonee Valley surface and with the little bit of rain overnight, it’s the perfect surface for him and he looked to really stretch out great late,” Weir said.
Prince Of Penzance heads to Saturday week’s Herbert Power Stakes before going to the Moonee Valley Cup before his planned Melbourne Cup defence.
Tosen Stardom, who missed the George Main Stakes earlier this month with a cut leg, had a solo gallop over 800m with Weir looking to run the Japanese import in Saturday week’s Toorak Handicap.