There will be no early Autumn Carnival clash between Winx and Hartnell with Godolphin’s leading weight for age performer to head to Melbourne to run first up in the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 10.
Hartnell was given an easy barrier trial when second over 1000m at Warwick Farm on Thursday and trainer James Cummings said the seven year old would head to Melbourne next week to kick off his Autumn Carnival campaign.
“He covered a little bit of ground in his trial but he looked lovely in his action and he kept ranging up beautifully and he attacked the line well and looks to have returned in good form,” Cummings told racing.com.
“I was really happy with the way he pulled up from the trial and to my eye he looks ready to go first-up over seven furlongs.”
“He will be on a float next week to Melbourne to compete in the Orr Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield.”
The last time that Hartnell clashed with Winx was during the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival when he chased home the super mare when second in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on day two of The Championships.
Hartnell resumed in the Spring for a first up win in the Group 2 $200,000 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 19 but failed to win a race after that with his best effort being runner up to Kiwi mare Bonneval in the Group 1 $750,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on October 1.
Cummings avoided a clash with Winx in her history making third successive win in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 28 and instead set Hartnell on a Melbourne Cup mission that resulted in a disappointing twentieth to the Irish stayer Rekindling in the famous two mile contest on the first Tuesday in November.
Winx is down to have a second barrier trial at Rosehill on Monday in preparation for her return to the race track in the Group 2 $250,000 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 17.
Early betting for the C.F. Orr Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Hartnell on the third line at $5.50 behind the Darren Weir trained pair of Tosen Stardom at $4 and Black Heart Bart at $5.
Early betting for the 2018 C.F. Orr Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Tosen Stardom, $5 Black Hart Bart, $5.50 Hartnell, $7 Mr Sneaky, $9 Brave Smash, $11 Johannes Vermeer, Tshahitsi, $13 Humidor, Single Gaze, Thronum, $15 The Taj Mahal, $17 Global Glamour, Lucky Hussler, Mighty Boss, $21 Theanswermyfriend, $26 Dollar Mr Dollar, $34 or better the rest.