Hartnell romped to another dominant victory with a scintillating performance in the 2016 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington this afternoon.
Hartnell went into the Turnbull Stakes as a clear favourite following outstanding wins in the Chelmsford Stakes and Hill Stakes and there was never any nervous moments for punters.
James McDonald settled Hartnell just behind the speed in the early stages of the races and he cruised into the race at the top of the straight before he put away his rivals when asked for an extra effort.
McDonald rode Hartnell with plenty of confidence in the Turnbull Stakes and the leading hoop said that the talented import had the race wrapped up a very long way from home.
“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 delivered John O’Shea his maiden Group 1 victory in Melbourne as the head trainer for Godolphin, but he was quick to paid credit to the performance of the Authorized gelding.
The Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) are all potential options for Hartnell, but O’Shea refused to confirm where the in-form galloper would have his next race start.
“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.”
Jameka produced another outstanding effort to finish second behind Hartnell and she is tracking beautifully towards the Caulfield Cup, while the leading pair put a big gap on the rest of the field.