Stradbroke Handicap 2015: Wide gate not a Black mark for WA raider

Trainer Vaughn Sigley is confident a wide barrier won’t stop Black Heart Bart from scoring an historic win for Western Australia in the $2 million Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben on Saturday.

UBet eased Black Heart Bart from $6.50 to $7 after he drew gate 17 for Saturday’s Group One race, although he will start from 14 if the emergencies don’t run.

Sigley believes Black Heart Bart’s racing pattern can negate his awkward draw.

“He will get back and get cover anyway. He needs galloping room,” Sigley said.

Black Heart Bart has won seven races in WA and was having his first run outside his home state when fourth in the Goodwood on May 16, closing strongly after settling towards the rear.

“Things didn’t go well at the start and it was a very good run for him to finish as close as he did,” Sigley said.

Black Heart Bart will race in the clockwise direction for the first time in the Stradbroke but Sigley says the horse’s trackwork suggests he will handle it.

“His work has been good at Deagon and that gives us an indication the way of going should not be a problem,” Sigley said.

Black Heart Bart’s work has also pleased his jockey Glenn Smith who has made an amazing comeback to racing after walking away from the sport for four years.

“I had four years out of the saddle and got out to 78 kilograms. But I have got the weight off and it is great to be associated with a horse such as Black Heart Bart,” Smith said.

Perth horses dot the honour roll for Brisbane’s feature races with Aquanita taking out the Doomben 10,000 in 1961 and Barrosa Boy winning the same race 31 years later.

Scenic Shot was a regular visitor and his wins include two Doomben Cups and a Brisbane Cup.

But no horse from the state has won a Stradbroke Handicap.

“It is a long way from Perth to Brisbane but we are enjoying it so far,” Sigley said.

First emergency Lumosty remains the Stradbroke favourite at $6 after drawing barrier 13.

Katherine Coleman, stable representative for trainer Robert Smerdon, said the Victorian filly coped with the travel to Brisbane and had settled in well.

“We are just going to keep hoping she gets a run. If not, she will run in the Dane Ripper Stakes,” Coleman said.

Generalife was the biggest betting drifter post-draw after landing the outside barrier in 21.

However, Godolphin representative Darren Beadman expects the $9 chance to go forward and put himself in the race.

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