Black Heart Bart Wins Second NZB Caulfield WFA Championship

Black Heart Bart victorious in the 2019 NZB Caulfield WFA Championship Series
Black Heart Bart victorious in the 2019 NZB Caulfield WFA Championship Series

A close second placing in Saturday’s A$1 million Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) has confirmed Black Heart Bart (Blackfriars) as a two-time winner of the New Zealand Bloodstock Caulfield WFA Championship.

The outstanding galloper won his first NZB Caulfield WFA Championship title in the spring of 2016, when he was at the peak of his powers and won the Group One Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Underwood Stakes (1800m).

He also won the Group One Goodwood Handicap (1200m) in 2016, and the following year added the Group One C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) and Futurity Stakes (1400m).

But the Futurity Stakes was his last win for more than two years, and he was virtually retired in the spring of 2018.

Now a nine-year-old, he has made a remarkable comeback during the 2019 NZB Caulfield WFA Championship, winning the Underwood Stakes (1800m) at 100-to-one odds and following it up with a gallant second in Saturday’s Caulfield Stakes.

The Lindsey Smith-trained marvel finishes with a total of 19 points, five clear of Hartnell (Authorized). Mystic Journey (Needs Further), Scales of Justice (Not a Single Doubt) and the Caulfield Stakes winner Cape of Good Hope (Galileo) tie for third with 10 points each.

Saturday was certainly Cape of Good Hope’s day, greatly enhancing his value with a first Group One victory.

Recently purchased by senior co-trainer David Hayes, the son of Galileo has outstanding pedigree credentials, being a full-brother to the multiple Group One winner Highland Reel and the Group One performer Idaho.

Saturday’s race turned into an exciting two-horse war between Black Heart Bart and Cape of Good Hope. Black Heart Bart fought gallantly for all he was worth, but Cape of Good Hope reached out and snatched victory right on the line.

“I wish I had a bit more of a share in him now,” Hayes said. "We kept him really lightly trained when he arrived at Werribee, because he was a big investment.

“It’s fantastic. “He’s got one of the better pedigrees in the world. Now that he’s a Group One winner, by the best sire in the world and from one of the best female families, we’ve really got something to work with in terms of a possible stallion career.

"If he didn't run well today, he could improve by stepping the work up, but I don't think I'll be stepping the work up now. I'll keep it exactly the same going into the Cox Plate (2040m).”

The winner’s stablemate, dual Group One winner Harlem (Champs Elysees), finished a length behind the first pair in third place.

This was the ninth year of New Zealand Bloodstock sponsorship of the Caulfield WFA Championship.

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