The weekend’s feature race favourite Big Duke...
Hartnell has announced his Spring Carnival intentions at Caulfield this afternoon; easily beating a talented field in Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m).
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Craig Williams allowed Hartnell to stride forward and settle just behind the pace of early leader Charmed Harmony, who flew the gates and ensured that the PB Lawrence Stakes would be run at a genuine tempo.
Experiencing a carefree run in transit, Williams was little more than a passenger as the Authorized gelding strode into the race and comfortably put away the field; Charmed Harmony boxing on well for second and Black Heart Bart running on to finish third.
Stable foreman for Godolphin in Melbourne, David Charles was on hand for Hartnell’s win in the PB Lawrence Stakes and said that the major target is yet to be set in stone for the horse this time.
“He arrived from Sydney in terrific order and on Tuesday morning we were really happy with his work,” Charles said.
“James and the team in Sydney will be thrilled and we’re thrilled too.
“James just wanted to bring him to Melbourne early, let him settle in and give him a look around, so we’re absolutely thrilled.
“We just left it to Craig to let the race unfold and ride him as he felt it and it worked out extremely well.
“He’s an amazingly adaptable horse so we’re looking forward to the rest of the spring with him. I think we’ll just take the race in a month’s time, the Makybe Diva and then consider it all from then.”
Hartnell has been a standout performer throughout his entire racing career so far, but has gone to another level through the last twelve months.
Resuming last spring for second behind Winx in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m), Hartnell won each of the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m), Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) by a combined seventeen lengths.
Hartnell is currently available at early 2017 Caulfield Cup odds of $13 with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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