Hartnell made it three dominant wins on the trot with an outstanding victory in the 2016 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington this afternoon.
Hartnell romped to victory in both the Chelmsford Stakes and the Hill Stakes before making the trip to Melbourne and he proved that the Melbourne way-of-going was not an issue with an equally impressive performance in the Turnbull Stakes.
Trainer John O’Shea was pleased to see Hartnell continue his winning run in the Turnbull Stakes, but he had no clues for punters that are keen to know whether the imported galloper will head towards the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) or Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
“It was a nice effort and the team have done a very nice job to keep him ticking over after coming down from Sydney,” O’Shea said.
“He did have a lot go his way in the run, but James did make it all happen around him.
“Once he gets in that position where he is rolling into the race with a bit of clear air, he is always going to be difficult to run down.
“He will always finish off if you get him to relax early and James is doing a very good job at getting that done.
“It is up to His Highness and John Ferguson to determine where he goes after this and he has plenty of options on the table.
“He will be competitive in whatever he runs in and we just hope that he pulls up well.”
Jockey James McDonald made the trip to Melbourne to partner Hartnell in the Turnbull Stakes and he could not have given the son of Authorized a better run in transit.
McDonald said that he was full of confidence throughout the Turnbull Stakes and he knew that as soon as Hartnell found his rhythm the race was all over.
“I was lucky I got into a beautiful spot and he did the rest,” McDonald said.
“He is going fantastic this horse and John said to be before I got legged on that he thought the horse had improved.
“The way he dealt with that field, he has improved immensely.
“I had it in the bag at about the 800 and it was pretty easy.
“Once I got that spot three pairs back there was no other horse that was going to beat him in that race.”
Hartnell is towards the top of Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup betting markets with Ladbrokes, who have plenty of special offers available throughout the 2016 Spring Racing Carnival.