Multiple Group 1 winner Hartnell will be kept fresh for his next 2018 Spring Carnival assignment in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at The Valley on Saturday.
Godolphin’s head Australian trainer James Cummings is keen to keep Hartnell with plenty of spring in his step over the Spring Carnival and will keep the veteran galloper to the shorter distances this year after he contested the last three Melbourne Cups.
“I don’t really want to take Hartnell that far again,” Cummings told AAP.
“I think Hartnell just wants to be kept a little more on the fresh side and kept to being a sprinter-miler. I think he’s going to reward us that way.
“It gives me the opportunity to do a little less with him too which is suitable to him now.”
Godolphin’s newly appointed Melbourne assistant trainer Kate Grimwade said the plan is definitely working with Hartnell behaving like a two year old and not an eight year old war horse.
“Probably for me the most striking thing is it’s like looking at a young horse,” Grimwade said.
“He’s so well in himself and he’s got this character about him.
“He thinks he’s the king of the track.”
“He’s like a horse that hasn’t had a run.”
“He’s squealing and fresh in the mornings and Robbo knows him really well so he can give us good feedback.
“He couldn’t be happier with the horse and his work this morning was exceptional.
“He was hard-held to the line and I see no reason why he can’t produce a characteristic solid run in his next start.”
Hartnell isn’t nominated for the big three Spring Carnival features, the Group 1 $5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield, Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley or the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) but does hold an entry for the Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on September 29.
Hartnell’s best result in his three appearances in the Melbourne Cup was a third to Almandin in 2016 while his best effort in the Cox Plate was a second to Winx in the same year.
The Godolphin flagbearer has had one run back from a spell for a second to Showtime in the Group 2 $200,000 Sir John Monash P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 18 and will make his second Spring Carnival appearance in the weight for age Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes.
Early betting for the 2018 Epsom at Ladbrokes.com.au has Hartnell marked at $12 while the Chris Waller trained D’Argento sits at the top of the market order at $6.
Early betting for the 2018 Epsom Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6 D’Argento, $10 Grunt, Happy Clapper, Kementari, $12 Avilius, Comin’ Through, Hartnell, Humidor, Lanciato, Paret, Pierata, Unforgotten, $14 Kaonic, $16 Best Of Days, $18 Tom Melbourne, $21 Invictus Prince, Le Romain, Sir Plush, $26 Arbeitsam, Champagne Cuddles, Dollar For Dollar, Egg Tart, Sambro, Siege Of Quebec, $41 or better the rest.