Trainer John O’Shea’s Group 1 performer Hartnell gets the chance to redeem himself when he lines up in the Group 1 $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The ultra-consistent Hartnell produced his worst result for twelve months when he dropped out in the straight last start to be beaten nine lengths when eighth to Winx in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on February 25.
O’Shea said that the six year old is back to his best on the training tracks and expects him to be in the mix again in the Ranvet Stakes.
“We’re very happy with him, he’s in great order, he worked very well Wednesday morning and I’m sure he’ll bounce back,” O’Shea said.
“Three weeks has always been his ideal time between runs. He takes a week to get over a run and then he gets into his groove.
“There were genuine excuses for him last start, but again he’s going to find a track on Saturday that is bottomless.”
English jockey William Buick takes the ride on Hartnell who has drawn barrier six in the eight horse Ranvet Stakes field and a good performance will see the English import take on Chris Waller’s glamour mare Winx again in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 8, day two of ‘The Championships’.
“We just need to get him back in the game and get a good positive run leading into the Queen Elizabeth, and hopefully he does that on Saturday,” O’Shea said.
Hartnell’s down the track finish in the Chipping Norton Stakes was the first time he missed a place in his last eight runs and well below the form that saw him win the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
At his following start Hartnell chased home Winx when second in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley before finishing third behind Almandin and Heartbreak City in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
Hartnell then ran into Winx again at his first run back for the Autumn when second in the Group 2 $250,000 The Star Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 13 prior to his failure in the Chipping Norton Stakes.
Ladbrokes.com.au have installed Hartnell as the $2 favourite for the Ranvet Stakes ahead of last year’s winner The United States at $5, Chris Waller’s promising stayer Antonio Giuseppe at $8.50 and Darren Weir’s Group 1 winning Stratum Star at $9.50.