Trainer James Cummings has revealed that Hartnell is likely to kick off his 2017 Spring Carnival campaign in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse on August 19th.
Cummings experienced a successful transition into the top job at Godolphin Australia when Manicure saluted in a two-year-old race at Warwick Farm on Saturday and the young trainer will be offered several good chances of black type success through the forthcoming Spring Carnival, headlined by the return of Hartnell.
While conceding that he has plenty to learn about Hartnell and the hundreds of horses that Godolphin Australia currently boasts, Cummings told AAP that the Authorized gelding has impressed in work and is on track for a first-up run in the PB Lawrence Stakes 2017.
“We will kick him off in the P B Lawrence and we’ll just go from there,” Cummings told RSN.
“We are going to try to stick to a path that she (Winx) is not necessarily going to be treading down, hopefully.
“I think that he looks to be in good shape. Reidy (Godolphin assistant Paul Reid) thinks that he looks as well as ever so that’s a positive thing to hear.
“He hasn’t won in six starts but I think if we can steer him into races where he’s not chasing home a ghost, I think he would certainly be a chance.”
Cummings confirmed that the 2017 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in October is the hopeful major target for Hartnell in Spring, but he is make a decision on the gelding’s campaign following a run in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m); a race he won comfortably in 2016.
“He would probably get about 57 (kilograms in the Caulfield Cup),” Cummings said.
“But all things being equal, he would be our top seed for the race.
“We’re certainly going to think about it but we can probably decide that after Turnbull Stakes day. And that is exactly when we would know what we are doing there.”
Hartnell has been a strong and consistent performer for Godolphin Australia since making his debut for John O’Shea in early 2015 and has posted a commendable career total of ten wins and a further eleven minors, through thirty-two starts.
Hartnell is currently available at early 2017 Caulfield Cup odds of $17 with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.