Just minutes after Black Heart Bart re-established his position as one of Australia’s most honest weight-for-age gallopers when winning the $500,000 Orr Stakes at Caulfield, the victory moved trainer Darren Weir to heap praise on race-day jockey Brad Rawiller.
Weir said Rawiller had been “down in the dumps over the last month” about his riding but believed Saturday’s win would give the jockey untold confidence.
“He’s been down and worried about his riding but that will get him up and going and will now see the old B Rawiller back riding to his best,” Weir said.
Weir and Rawiller have established a close bond for many years, with Weir always valuing his jockey’s opinions and advice.
“This horse has really clicked with Brad, they just get on so well and today Brad read the play perfectly and we are just so fond of this horse as he has gone from strength to strength since he arrived from the west,” Weir said.
Soon after Black Heart Bart arrived in Victoria last year, staff at Weir’s training operations at Ballarat and Warrnambool were astonished at the horse’s rate of improvement and the unique ability to thrive and recover after some of his most testing assignments.
But the trainer, who scored his 18th group 1 win on Saturday, said Black Heart Bart had established a “real” affinity with Caulfield, having won three of his four starts at the track and the other effort was a second place.
From the 200-metre mark onwards when Rawiller let Black Heart Bart go, it was obvious that the horse was back to his group 1 best.
“I did say I was thrilled with his run at Moonee Valley the other night, sure he didn’t win but he didn’t lose any admirers. We will just have a look around for what will be his next start,” he said.
New Zealand galloper Turn Me Loose showed a glimpse of the form that made him one of the best 1600-metre gallopers in Australia last year. After an indifferent showing in the Australia stakes at Moonee Valley, it was a different performance on Saturday.
After Jumping cleanly, the horse went straight to the lead and was still holding out his rivals in the later part of the race until Black Heart Bart emerged on the scene.
The winner’s stablemate, Palentino, came home well to finish fourth in an effort that Weir described as “excellent”, adding the horse looks set for a strong autumn.
News Patrick Bartley, SMH