Darren Weir’s five times Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart used a trip to Terang races to ready him for his defence of his C.F. Orr Stakes crown.

Black Heart Bart, above, is on track to defend his C.F. Orr Stakes crown at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Black Heart Bart, above, is on track to defend his C.F. Orr Stakes crown at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Black Heart Bart was a clear winner of the 2017 Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and stable foreman Jarrod McLean said a slick  gallop with Brad Rawiller in the saddle over 800m in between races at Tuesday’s Terang meeting has the seven year old well on track to defend his title on February 10.

“He just went out to do a half-mile gallop (at Terang). I clocked him running 47.55s, and he was doing that with ease. Brad had a good hold of him,” McLean told racing.com.

“The track’s firmed up here with a warm day as it’s gone on.

“He’s had the day out, the road trip, bit of excitement, sweated a bit, thinks he’s at the races… that should bring him on to see him defend his Orr crown in a couple of weeks’ time.

“He does most of his work on his own. He’s a real competitor, and at this stage, we don’t want him ripping and tearing and doing too much.

“He said he felt great. He didn’t want to lay out which is something he can do when he’s feeling his feet.”

Black Heart Bart hasn’t visited the winner’s stall since saluting in the 2017 Group 1 $500,000 italktravel Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield following his C.F. Orr Stakes win and failed to win a race over the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival and a subsequent trip to Perth.

The high class weight for age performer was plagued with feet problems during the Spring but still managed to be placed three times from four starts as well as a second to Great Shot in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Perth on November 25.

Black Heart Bart’s other Spring Carnival placings were a third in the Group 2 $200,000 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) and a second in the Group 1 $1m New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m), both at Caulfield, followed by a third to stablemate Humidor in the  Group 1 $750,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.

Black Heart Bart was spelled after finishing ninth in the Group 1 $1m Magic Millions-Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot in Perth on December 9 and McLean said that the big bay gelding has overcome all of his hoof issues.

“He’s in great order, he’s lovely and sound, his feet are as good as they’ve been for a long time, and looking forward to seeing him get back to his favourite track Caulfield on the 10th of February,” McLean said.

Early betting for the C.F. Orr Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Black Heart Bart sharing the second line at $5 with the James Cummings trained Hartnell while his Group 1 winning stablemate Tosen Stardom sits at the top of the market order at $4.50.

Early betting for the 2018 C.F. Orr Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au:  $4.50 Tosen Stardom, $5 Hartnell, Black Heart Bart, $6.50 Brave Smash, $8 Mr Sneaky, $9 Johannes Vermeer, $13 Humidor, The Taj Mahal, $15 Global Glamour, Lucky Hussler, $17 Mighty Boss, Siege Of Quebec, $21 Burning Front, Theanswermyfriend, $26 or better the rest.

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