The 2017 Caulfield Cup second acceptances have been released and Godolphin galloper Hartnell remains in contention to run in the Group 1 event at Caulfield on October 21.
Godolphin are keeping their options open with Hartnell and he has been kept in the entries for the Caulfield Cup, despite plenty of rumours over the last 24 hours that suggest he will take on Winx in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate at The Valley on October 28.
Hartnell started his 2017 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a dominant win in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m), but he was beaten by Humidor in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and Bonneval in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
Trainer James Cummings is worried by the fact that Hartnell will give away two kilograms to Humidor in the Caulfield Cup, but he will not make a decision about his future plans with Hartnell until he runs in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Bonneval is also set to run in the Ladbrokes Stakes at Caulfield this weekend and she is currently a clear favourite in the 2017 Caulfield Cup betting market with Ladbrokes.
The daughter of Makfi took out both the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) and Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) in the Autumn and she has started her 2017 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with impressive victories in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes and the Underwood Stakes.
Bonneval is joined in the 2017 Caulfield Cup second acceptances by stablemate Jon Snow.
Jon Snow stamped himself as a Caulfield Cup contender when he won the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) earlier this year and he returned to winning form with an impressive performance in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at The Valley on September 29.
Another trainer with a strong hand in the 2017 Caulfield Cup second acceptances is Darren Weir, who is chasing his first race win in the historic race.
Humidor failed to fire behind Winx in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) last weekend, but he remains on track to contest the Caulfield Cup and he could be joined by stablemates Admire Deus, Big Duke and Amelie’s Star.
Macedon Lodge could also have a heavy representation in the Caulfield Cup as they chase their first win in the race since Fawkner was triumphant in 2013.
Almandin is the pick of the Macedon Lodge gallopers in the Caulfield Cup second acceptances, but Sir Isaac Newton, Gallante, Aloft and Foundry are also in contention.
The Caulfield Cup is confirmed to have an international presence in the form of Hughie Morrison-trained Marmelo and it was revealed this morning that Hugh Bowman will take the ride on the European stayer.
Marmelo was sent to Australia following his win in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) in France – a race that was won by both Americain in 2010 and Protectionist in 2014 before they went on to take out the Melbourne Cup.
Other notable horses in the 2017 Caulfield Cup second acceptances include Randwick Guineas winner Inference, Willie Mullins-trained Wicklow Brave, Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Francis Of Assisi and Turnbull Stakes runner-up Ventura Storm.