Metropolitan bound Hartnell trounced his rivals with a seven and three quarter lengths win in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick today.
Trainer John O’Shea was pleased to see Hartnell regain his winning form after being out the winner’s stall since taking out the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
“When he executes well he is a very effective horse. He executed very well today and James rode him beautifully as always,” O’Shea said.
“It’s a great team effort to get him back into that vein of form after an indifferent Spring and an injury during the Autumn.”
“He had a lot of things to go his way today.”
“We had envisaged running him in the Hill in the view to go inti the Metrop. Obviously the Metrop run will be weight dependant.”
“There are a few options for him and ideally we would like to keep him in Sydney with the concept of getting his toe into the ground a little bit helps him.”
The Group 2 $200,000 Hill Stakes (2000m) will be run at Randwick in a fortnight with the Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) run at Randwick two weeks later.
With the scratching of Winx from the Chelmsford Stakes because of the heavy track conditions, Hartnell was hit hard in the betting ring and was sent out the $2.05 favourite.
Winning jockey James McDonald settled Hartnell just behind the two leaders before letting him stride to the front at the top of the rise.
The English import then opened up to record a very impressive win.
Grand Marshall ($21), one of four Chris Waller runners in the six horse field ran on well from last to grab second spot just ahead of stablemate Storm The Stars ($9.50) who stuck on well in the straight.
Three year old Prized Icon eased in the betting from $2.40 to be the second pick at $3.80 and after over racing slightly in the early and middle stages while sitting at the girth of the leader Storm The Stars, faded in the straight to finish last of the six runners.