The John O’Shea trained Hartnell is odds on to score back to back wins as he steps up to 2000m in the Group 2 $200,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Hill Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
Hartnell scored his first win for almost eighteen months with a runaway seven and three quarter lengths victory in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 3 and is currently marked at $1.45 at Ladbrokes.com.au to win again this week.
O’Shea’s assistant trained Darren Beadman feels that Hartnell will be even better suited at the 2000m of the Hill Stakes as he builds up in distance heading towards the Group 1 $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 1.
“His win the other day had to be seen to be believed,” Beadman said.
“He has thrived since and is getting out to a trip that is really to his liking – a mile-and-a-quarter at weight-for-age – so he ticks a lot of boxes and John (O’Shea) couldn’t be happier with him.
“The Metropolitan Handicap is his target and he’s progressing very nicely toward that race.”
Hartnell was Group 1 placed in France before arriving in Australia and O’Shea was able to go one better and prepare the Authorized gelding to win the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
O’Shea will also saddle up last year‘s Metropolitan winner Magic Hurricane and Beadman can see a lot of improvement in the seven year old heading into the Hill Stakes.
“He’s starting to lose a bit of that belly now and his coat is starting to come through,” Beadman said.
“Weight-for-age is a bit tough for him, he’ll be better suited when gets back to a handicap.”
Magic Hurricane is on the third line of betting at $9 with the Chris Waller trained Preferment sandwiched in between the two Godolphin runners at $8.
Magic Hurricane, also an European import, has had two Spring Carnival runs for a first up fifth to Testashadow in the $85,000 Spring Preview Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill on August 13 followed by a third to Sense Of Occasion in the Listed $100,000 Premier’s Cup (1900m) at Rosehill on August 27.
James McDonald rides Hartnell who will jump from barrier four following the scratching of Tavago and Brenton Avdulla will be aboard Magic Hurricane who has drawn the rails.
Hugh Bowman rides Preferment who is one of four runners trainer Chris Waller will saddle up in the Hill Stars, the others being Who Shot Thebarman (Christian Reith), Grand Marshall (Rory Hutchings) and Storm The Stars (Tye Angland).
Market order for the Hill Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.45 Hartnell, $8.50 Preferment, $9 Magic Hurricane, $12 Storm The Stars, $14 Who Shot Thebarman, $15 Grand Marshall, $26 Signoff.