Despite Chris Waller boasting 11 of the 16 starters in Saturday’s Chelmsford Stakes 2015 field and betting markets, it is the John O’Shea-trained Hartnell installed as the narrow favourite to win the feature Royal Randwick race this weekend.
Hartnell has James McDonald riding in his first-up start of the spring, the Godolphin-raced Authorized gelding last seen running fourth over the two miles in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) from April.
Before that big step up in distance the now five-year-old won the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill and pays $3.30 in the latest Chelmsford Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au to salute first-up for the first time after three previous losses when resuming.
Hot on his heels in Chelmsford Stakes betting at $4 is then the best fancied of Waller’s strong contingent, Doncaster Mile winner Kermadec.
Jumping from a wide barrier 13 (into 12) draw with Glen Boss in the saddle, the Teofilo stallion has won over $2.22 million in prize money and has a good record over the mile (4-2-1-0) that he’ll be out to add to on Saturday.
First-up he was the beaten favourite running fifth to stablemate Royal Descent in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m), and with the extra metres in the Chelmsford should be right in the finish.
The early market mover is Waller’s aforementioned Warwick Stakes winning mare Royal Descent backed in from $5 to $4.40 to post her second win for the season after breaking a lengthy drought last time out.
Before the Warwick Stakes the now six-year-old daughter of Redoute’s Choice hadn’t won since the 2013 ATC Oaks, but her record over 1600m is outstanding (7-0-6-1-) as is her mile record at Randwick (6-0-5-1) making her the best place chance in the line-up.
The last of the single figure hopes to take out the Chelmsford Stakes this year, a race Waller has won the past two editions of with his 2013 Queensland Derby winning Hawkspur, who is at $41 to make it a hat-trick of wins in 2015, is then Pornichet ($5.50).
Gai Waterhouse’s Doomben Cup winning French import resumed last time out and caught the eye running well fresh when beaten 1.5 lengths by Royal Descent in the Warwick Stakes, which could prove the form race to follow into this weekend’s feature.
At more generous odds but still livewire hopes of taking out the Chelmsford this weekend in an upset are the likes of Waller’s fourth past the post in the Warwick Stakes Beaten Up ($15) and if they make the starting line-up with an early scratching the first emergency It’s Somewhat ($14) for O’Shea.