John O’Shea’s defending champion Hartnell is out to win successive editions of the Sky High Stakes 2016 this weekend in Sydney as he also heads towards a title defense in the $1.5 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at the end of the month.
Last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival the Godolphin-raced son of Authorized enjoyed a stellar first season in Australia.
The European import was runner-up on debut down under in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) before winning the Sky High Stakes – The BMW double for connections ahead of a Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) fourth over the two miles.
He is back leading the $350,000 Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) field again this weekend on Coolmore Classic Day, the set weights plus penalites clash kicking off a bumper nine-race Rosehill card as Race 1 at 12:20pm (AEDT).
Just eight final acceptances were taken for the Sky High Stakes this year, Hartnell jumping from barrier four with James McDonald in the saddle.
He comes out of the Chipping Norton Stakes again this year when fifth to Chris Waller’s superstar mare Winx, a run he is looking to improve on this weekend in easier company.
Currently Hartnell pays $11 in futures The BMW betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, markets led by Our Ivanhowe ($7) who runs in the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington in Melbourne on Saturday.
O’Shea also has stablemate Magic Hurricane race in the Sky High Stakes on Saturday, the six-year-old winner of last October’s Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick coming off a Chipping Norton ninth.
After Harntell the next shortest-priced Sky High Stakes runner in the all-in The BMW odds is Waller’s Melbourne Cup placegetter Who Shot Thebarman ($15).
The proven stayer won the 2014 Auckland Cup, placed third in that year’s Melbourne Cup and was runner-up to stablemate Grand Marshal in last year’s Sydney Cup.
The now seven-year-old’s last victory was in November’s Group 2 Sandown Classic (2400m) and he comes off a 10th to Winx in the Chipping Norton where he jumped an 81/1 shot.
Waller’s aforementioned Sydney Cup champion Grand Marshal is also in the Sky High Stakes mix this Saturday in gate seven after his Chipping Norton eighth second-up.
The fit horses in the race meanwhile are the Joe Pride-trained Destiny’s Kiss in gate two and Peter Moody’s Pemberley who are both coming off back-to-back wins.
Destiny’s Kiss won the Gosford Cup – Australia Day Cup double in January, while Darci Brahma four-year-old Pemberley won over 1800m and 2000m respectively at Flemington at his latest two runs.
Rounding out the field are the Team Hawkes-trained Messene who Tommy Berry rides and the returning rails-drawn Sir John Hawkwood who are both rising eight-year-olds.
Check out the full Sky High Stakes 2016 field, barriers and jockeys below then visit Ladbrokes.com.au for all the best odds this weekend and in the upcoming Sydney ‘The Championship’ races!
2016 Sky High Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Rosehill Race 1 (12:20pm) – 12/03/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||114x4650x5||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||4||58kg||110|
|2||x758701x90||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Christian Reith||3||58kg||110|
|3||x143121x79||MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE)||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||8||58kg||107|
|4||x075003x08||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||7||58kg||106|
|5||5383482×08||MESSENE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||5||56.5kg||104|
|6||435x69x311||DESTINY’S KISS||Joseph Pride||Kerrin McEvoy||2||55kg||101|
|7||6276x4212x||SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD (IRE)||David Vandyke||Blake Spriggs||1||55kg||97|
|8||x2362x1311||PEMBERLEY (NZ)||Peter G Moody||TBA||6||55kg||82|