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Palentino upsets Black Heart Bart on route to Cox Plate

Posted on 10/09 by Pom de Turf

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If Palentino's place in the Cox Plate was in doubt, it certainly looks to be more secure now.

Palentino lined up against stable mate and short priced favourite Black Heart Bart in Saturday's $500,000 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington and the race did not disappoint.

Black Heart Bart strated well and settled just off the pace in 4th with Palentino further back in the field. Coming into the straight both Black Heart Bart and Palentino started to make their move. Black Heart Bart hit the front at the 300m mark and looked to have it all sewn up, but Palentino put in a blistering finish running the last 600m in 33.61 to beat his stable mate by 1 length.

Other stable mate Prince of Penzance finished 6th and was the only other horse in the field to run sub 40 seconds for the last 600m.

With Tosen Stardom heading to the George Main Stakes to try and dethrone Winx, Palentino will be waiting for the superstar mare at Moonee Valley for the weight-for-age championship.

"[The Makybe Diva] was the race he was aimed towards, and if he measured up, he'd head to the Cox Plate," Weir said.

"We'll have to map out a plan towards that now."

It was racing manager Jeremy Rogers that convinced trainer Weir to return to the scene of Palentino's Australian Guineas success instead of heading to Caulfield for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes/Toorak Handicap.

"Sun Stud have a massive investment in the horse," Weir added.

"To win a mile race as a four-year-old, it's very important for his stud career.

"And I don't think it'll be the last one [Group 1] he wins either."

Weir admitted he was not convinced Palentinos could match Black Heart Bart but thought he would give him a good challenge.

"I must say I was a little worried about him [Palentino] in the yard," the master trainer said.

"When he jumped, he got a pair further back than we expected.

"But he was settled and going through the motions - he got a beautiful ride.

"When he got to the outside of him, I didn't know whether he would get past him - but I knew he would test him.

"Obviously, he'd had one extra run, and the other horse [Black Heart Bart] ran well too."

Both Palentino and Black Heart Bart are not priced up at $17.00 for the Cox Plate in October with sportsbet.com.au.

Read our latest Palentino Odds and Form Guide

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