Veteran Group 1 performer Hartnell is in good enough form to claim a second victory in the 2019 Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington today.
Hartnell was in the Turnbull Stakes winner’s stall in 2016 and trainer James Cummings said that the nine year old is ready to step back up to the 2000m after a solid run over 1800m when fourth in last Sunday’s Group 1 $750,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes at Caulfield.
“We had this race on the radar all along and after his run in the Underwood, we’ve given careful thought to running. If there was any doubt at all about him backing up, we wouldn’t be asking him to run,” Cummings said.
“The Underwood was a race that was devoid of pace and pressure and he didn’t have a hard run.
“He finished it off well over the last half mile, suggesting he was ready for a bit more ground.”
Hartnell is the winner of four Group 1 races but hasn’t visited the winner’s stall since saluting at last year’s Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick twelve months ago.
Hartnell might be in the veteran category, but the Godophin flag bearer never shirks his task and has continued to perform well at the highest level with four Group 1 placings over the past twelve months as well as being runner up to Mystic Journey in the $5m All-Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington during the 2019 Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
Brad Rawiller got the call up for Hartnell in the Turnbull Stakes, replacing Hugh Bowman who is riding at the Epsom meeting at Randwick today.
Hartnell will jump from barrier five in the eleven horse Turnbull Stakes field and is marked at $12 with Ladbrokes.com.au while Tassie champ Mystic Journey is holding down favouritism at $3.20 just ahead of the Phillip Stokes trained Mr Quickie at $3.40.
Betting for the 2019 Turnbull Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.20 Mystic Journey, $3.40 Mr Quickie, $6 Finche, $8.50 Kings Will Dream, $12 Hartnell, $14 Rostropovich, $21 Vow And Declare, $26 Trap For Fools, $34 Looks Like Elvis, Kentucky Breeze, $126 Sound.