The Godolphin-raced Hartnell absolutely bolted home in the Chelmsford Stakes 2016 for a runaway victory in Sydney’s feature race of the weekend without Winx there to rain on his parade again.
First-up the John O’Shea-trained import came up against Australia’s best racehorse, Hartnell finishing three and a half lengths off Winx in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) a fortnight back.
Today the Royal Randwick track was rated a Heavy (8) and Waller opted to scratch his star mare from the line-up on race morning.
That left Authorized six-year-old Hartnell to dominate betting on this year’s $250,000 Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).
Just six runners lined-up in the weight-for-age clash with Waller also scratching Spiritjim and Hartnell was dramatically backed on track jumping $2.05 favourite.
Jockey James McDonald retained the ride on the gun gelding who was back to his best form for his first win since taking out the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill in March of 2015.
McDonald was patient on the galloper, getting Hartnell to settle into the perfect position third off the frontrunners Storm The Stars and Prized Icon.
James Cummings’ Group 1 winning three-year-old Prized Icon was doing everything wrong, fighting his hoop Kathy O’Hara the whole race and running too keenly before dropping out over the last 50m to finish dead last in a race that hasn’t been won by a 3YO since 1979.
Hartnell travelled very strongly in third just stalking the pace-makers in a field that strung out with Grand Marshal at the tail end.
Moving around the outside, McDonald made his move at the top of the straight on Hartnell who always looked the winner based on what was happening up front.
With 300m to go Hartnell hit the front and blitzed his rivals in a far too easy win, bolting home in a race that was set up absolutely perfectly for him.
“He’s in for a great campaign,” McDonald said after the win.
“He’s a proper horse, walking around relaxed, travelling, spot on.”
On the line Hartnell ($2.05F) had around six or seven lengths to spare over Waller’s former Sydney Cup winner Grand Marshal ($26) who, after missing the kick, got up late in an excellent run for the Spring Cups bound stayer.
Finishing off the Chelmsford Stakes trifecta in third was the frontrunner Storm The Stars ($9.50) who held for a placing.
Post-race O’Shea said ideally they would love to keep Hartnell at home for a Sydney Spring Racing Carnival campaign targeting the $750,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) over the mile and a half on Epsom Handicap Day, October 1.
“He’s a very effective horse,” O’Shea said.
“He executed really well today and James rode him beautifully as always.
“It’s very rewarding to have him back in that vein of form after an indifferent spring and the slight injury in the autumn.
“We’ve got the view of going to The Metropolitan, which will be weight dependant, but there’s a few options for him.
“Ideally we’d like to keep him in Sydney.”
O’Shea won The Metropolitan last year with Magic Hurricane (2015) who came off a second in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m), that $200,000 the likely next-up run for Hartnell this season on September 17.
The trainer also prepared the 2003 The Metropolitan winner Bedouin.
Get behind Hartnell next race and access the top early The Metropolitan 2016 betting odds online through Ladbrokes.com.au now!
2016 Chelmsford Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 7 – 03/09/2016
|1||3||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||2||59kg||$2.05F|
|2||4||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||7.8L||3||59kg||$21|
|3||5||STORM THE STARS (USA)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||7.9L||1||59kg||$9.50|
|4||1||PREFERMENT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||8.1L||6||59kg||$8.50|
|5||2||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||8.2L||4||59kg||$11|
|6||8||PRIZED ICON||James Cummings||Ms Kathy O’Hara||9.2L||5||50.5kg||$3.80|
|–||6||SPIRITJIM (FR)||Chris Waller||Rory Hutchings||–||0||–||–|
|–||7||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||0||–||–|