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Black Heart Bart too strong in Orr Stakes

Black Heart Bart has maintained his affinity with Caulfield by claiming another Group One win at the track in the C F Orr Stakes.

He is now unbeaten over the 1400 metres at Caulfield with Saturday’s victory coming on top of the Group One Memsie Stakes last August and the Group Three Victoria Handicap in March.

Black Heart Bart also won the Group One Underwood Stakes (1800m) last spring while his only defeat at the track came at the hands of Winx in the Caulfield Stakes.

Ridden by Brad Rawiller in the Orr, Black Heart Bart was backed from $3.70 to $3.20 favouritism before scoring by a length from Turn Me Loose ($21) with Ecuador ($14) a half-length away third.

Rawiller went into Saturday’s race confident of Black Heart Bart’s chances following a piece of work at Warrnambool during the week.

“There were other Group One winners in the race and horses on the up,” Rawiller said.

“He had it all before him and he was drawn poorly but I couldn’t have had more confidence in the horse before today.

“His work during the week was outstanding. His first-up run off a staying preparation was outstanding and this was always going to be a different race.

“It was 1400 metres and Caulfield is his best track statistically.”

Rawiller declared Black Heart Bart a champion in his own right but was loathe to declare him the best horse he has ridden.

That place belongs to Weekend Hussler, the winner of seven Group One races, but Black Heart Bart is edging closer.

Black Heart Bart now runs in the Group One Futurity Stakes at Caulfield on February 25 before Darren Weir turns his attention to the Sydney carnival.

Weir said he wished he had more horses like Black Heart Bart.

“He turns up every time you take him to the races,” he said.

Luke Nolen, who partnered Jameka into equal fourth place, said it was a lovely return from last year’s Caulfield Cup winner.

“She probably just peaked a little bit late so there’s nice improvement in her,” he said.

First-up Australia Stakes winner Malaguerra, who defeated Black Heart Bart at Moonee Valley last month, was the $3.80 second elect, but after racing in second position weakened in the run home to finish sixth.

Jockey Ben Melham said the draw and the way the race was run worked against the gelding.

“He’s better suited where he can travel up solidly which then gives him some confidence to let go and finish off,” Melham said.

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