In another outstanding Group 1 result for the Godolphin stable and trainer John O’Shea, star British import Harntell continued his ace form down under with an excellent win over Japanese raider To The World in The BMW 2015 at Rosehill.
Hartnell’s super-consistent and progressive Authorized four-year-old only debuted in Australia three starts ago with a first-up second to stablemate and fellow gun import Contributer in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
He then won his first Aussie race a fortnight ago in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill and today relished a return to the track and a step up in distance for the $1.5 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m).
One of the best backed in the field of 11, the young gelding was ridden by the flying James McDonald who thought he was in trouble around the 1200m when Opinion, tucked into third, broke down and dropped out of the race.
It caused Hartnell, who had settled into an ideal position fifth on the fence, as well as the short-priced favourite To The World, whose hoop Nicholas Hall allowed him to settle midfield right after the jump tracking sixth behind the eventual winner, to both lose several lengths.
“Something happened midrace with Opinion,” McDonald explained.
“I lost several lengths, I thought I was in a bit of strife.”
The two best horses in betting and classiest gallopers in the weight-for-age classic however quickly recovered and came together round the outside coming into the home turn challenging the frontrunners.
McDonald knew Japan’s King Kamehaeha stallion To The World was right on his tail but didn’t panic, letting Hartnell’s superior staying ability shine through.
“I knew he (To The World) was there,” the winning hoop, who celebrated his fourth victory of the day in The BMW, said.
“But I knew I was on the superior stayer and I’m just so happy I came off on top.”
On the line Hartnell ($3.50), who reared post-race and had to undergo an 11th hour vet’s examination after getting his leg caught up on top of the gates, had half a length to spare over Arima Kinen runner-up behind superstar Gentildonna To The World ($2.60).
“Two very special horses here today,” O’Shea said post-win.
“when they cleared out, it was so exciting.”
In a brave third just off them was then the Chris Waller-trained former Doomben Cup winner Beaten Up ($101) who did well to come round with the dominant two and stay on for a place in The BMW trifecta, some good news for Waller who awaits the feedback on what went amiss with Opinion mid-race.
Hartnell now heads towards the $1.6 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick on Day 2 of The Championships, April 11, with confidence.
“He’s got so much heart,” Godophin’s Darren Beadman declared after the win.
The champ was already favourite in pre-field Sydney Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au and will firm further after his stellar The BMW effort.
To The World meanwhile goes onto the carnival’s richest race, the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on the same day where he will face O’Shea’s Chipping Norton Stakes – Ranvet Stakes double winning five-year-old Contriubter.
“We wanted to turn The Championships into a global event and here is the precursor to it,” Chairman of Racing NSW John Messara said trackside today of The BMW.
“We’re also grateful to our Japanese friends for having a go.
“They’re proud sportsmen and they’re getting rewarded, two seconds and a first over the past two weeks.”
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2015 The BMW Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 7 – 28/03/2015
|1||8||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||3||57.5kg||$3.10|
|2||7||TO THE WORLD (JPN)||Yasutoshi Ikee||Nicholas Hall||1.3L||6||57.5kg||$2.60F|
|3||3||BEATEN UP (GB)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||1.5L||7||59kg||$101|
|4||2||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||2L||9||59kg||$21|
|5||1||PROTECTIONIST (GER)||Kris Lees||Craig Williams||2.2L||11||59kg||$6.50|
|6||9||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||Kerrin McEvoy||2.4L||8||57kg||$15|
|7||10||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Jim Cassidy||3.1L||2||56.5kg||$11|
|8||5||EXTRA ZERO||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||6.4L||1||59kg||$31|
|9||12||HAMPTON COURT||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||7.1L||10||54kg||$71|
|10||6||FAST DRAGON||Bruce Wallace||Damien Oliver||19.4L||5||58.5kg||$101|
|FF||4||OPINION (IRE)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||–||4||59kg||$41|
|–||11||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan||Tim Clark||–||0||–||–|