Hartnell survived a pre-race scare in the barriers to defeat To The World and record a maiden win at Group 1 level in the 2015 The BMW at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Hartnell underwent a lengthy veterinary inspection before the start of The BMW after he and Opinion were involved in a scuffle before the race, but the imported galloper was cleared to take his place in the field.
Jockey James McDonald elected to settle Hartnell in the first half of the field, while Nick Hall positioned To The World just behind him in the early stages of the race.
Hall made the first move on To The World and he sent the Japanese galloper to the outside of the field before he hit the front at the 250 metre mark, but Hartnell exploded when asked for an extra effort and went past the well-backed favourite to score an impressive win.
The BMW victory of Hartnell gave the Godolphin operation a Group 1 victory for the second week in a row following Contributer’s Ranvet Stakes victory and jockey James McDonald said after the race that he was happy to be able to go along for the ride.
“I am very fortunate to be riding for Sheik Mohammed and his global operation,” McDonald said.
“We have the best bunch of people that work under John and it is really paying dividends.
“I am so thankful for all the support that they give me.
“I knew he was there, he dropped off at about the 1200 behind me and something happened midrace with Opinion I think breaking down and I lost several lengths then and I thought I was in a bit of stride then, but I knew I was on the superior stayer and I was just so happy that I have come out on top.”
John O’Shea made a slow start to his new job as head trainer for the Godolphin operation, but he is on track to finish the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with more Group 1 victories than any other trainer.
A modest O’Shea was quick to pay credit to the entire Godolphin operation and he said that he was thrilled that the European gallopers purchased by John Ferguson had both recorded Group 1 victories.
“Doing the form there looked to be two very special horses here today and when they cleared out it was very exciting,” O’Shea said.
“They have a lot of time invested into what goes on here, it is a big team performance and they are just great cogs in the wheel.
“I don’t do it all on my own and I’ve said that all along.
“Between James (McDonald), Tommy (Ward), Darren (Beadman) and Paul Reid back at Osborne, we just have a great team of people guided by John Ferguson, Sheik Mohammed and Henry here.
“It is very exciting to see them all here and enjoying it because they all contribute.”
Hartnell will step-up in trip for the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick on April 11, while To The World will drop back to 2000 metres for the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on the same day.