Trainer James Cummings has described veteran galloper Hartnell ‘as bright as a button’ in the lead up to the 2018 Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at The Valley on Saturday.
Hartnell ran a slashing first up second to Showtime in the Group 2 $200,000 Sir John Monash P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 18 and Cummings has kept the eight year old on is toes since.
“He’s as bright as a button and capable of running well again,” Cummings said.
“He flashed up nicely for second place along the inside in the Lawrence, and finds himself at a mile second-up.”
“The horse enjoys having his races spaced and should give himself every chance at weight-for-age around the Valley.”
Harnetll is the winner off twelve of his forty-two race starts, three at Group 1 level, but is yet to win at The Valley with his best effort from two starts there a second to Winx in the 2016 Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) which followed a fifth in the 2015 Cox Plate.
Top Melbourne jockey Craig Williams has forged a great association with Hartnell which includes a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during the 2018 Melbourne Autumn Carnival and he was aboard again when second in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes three weeks ago.
Hartnell has drawn awkwardly at barrier nine in the in the eleven horse Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes field with Williams in the saddle again.
Early betting for the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has seen plenty of support for Hartnell who has firmed in from $4.20 to be challenging for favouritism at $3.70 on Thursday morning.
Favourite Night’s Watch is also firm in the betting at $3.50 and the Darren Weir trained five year is stepping up to weight for age company for the first time after winning a 1400m Handicap at Caulfield last Saturday.
On the third line of betting is the Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Bonneval at $7 ahead of the Mick Price trained mare Hiyaam at $9 and Anthony Freedman’s Ambitious at $9.50.