Trainer John O’Shea has revealed that Hartnell is likely to be ridden quieter when he contests the 2015 The BMW at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Hartnell made his racing debut in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 and he was settled towards the tail of the field before he worked home strongly to finish second behind stablemate Contributer, while he was ridden much closer to the speed when he took out the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 14.
O’Shea said that jockey James McDonald was forced to ride Hartnell close to the speed to get the job done in the Sky High Stakes, but he believes that the Authorized gelding will be more effective if he is given the opportunity to find his feet in the early stages of The BMW this weekend.
“The one thing we learnt from Contributer is that as they get deeper into their preps, he will be third-up on Saturday as Contributer was last week, they are coming to a bit of a peak and ideally James would just ride him where he is comfortable,” O’Shea said.
“We had to ride him a certain way second-up to get the job done, but I think that he would be better ridden a bit quieter and we will endeavor to that this week.
“Those horse that produced that big performance first-up are always going to come back a bit second-up and I think that both Hartnell and Contributer did that, but were still able to win.
“Coming into the race third-up you would expect them to bounce back and if we let him find his feet he might be able to show that turn-of-foot.”
Hartnell will be stepping up to 2400 metres for the first time this preparation in The BMW and O’Shea said that he is happy with the fitness levels of the four-year-old heading into the Group 1 event.
O’Shea said that Hartnell completed his final piece of trackwork ahead of The BMW and impressed the entire stable and McDonald with his strong effort.
“We are really happy with,” O’Shea said.
“James was delighted with his work and we go into the race confident that he is at his best.
“We usually work him solo, but we gave him a bunny to chase down this morning in his final piece of work.
“He is a very happy horse and he is going through his paces nicely.”
Hartnell is currently available at 2015 The BMW odds of $3.50 with Ladbrokes, while To The World ($2.70) has opened as a narrow favourite.