Trainer John O’Shea is expecting another stand out performance from Hartnell in the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Sunday.
Hartnell arrived in Melbourne following two outstanding wins when he put a gap in the rest of the field with a seven and three quarter lengths victory in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 3 followed by a five and three quarter lengths win in the Group 2 $200,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on September 17.
O’Shea said that Hartnell has pulled up well again as he did after the Chelmsford Stakes but he will be facing slightly stiffer opposition this time around.
“He came out of the Chelmsford Stakes bouncing, he won it in a hand canter,” O’Shea said.
“Then he did the same in the Hill Stakes.
“We came to Melbourne because the team thought it would give us a few more options. I just want to get through this race and assess the situation.”
O’Shea and the Godolphin Team still haven’t mapped out a final Spring Carnival plan with Hartnell who is still among the nominations for the big three feature races, the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield, the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley and the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
James McDonald takes the ride again in the Turnbull Stakes after being on board Hartnell for all three Spring Carnival runs to date and as well as his wins in the Chelmsford Stakes and the Hill Stakes was in the saddle for his first up second to Winx in the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 20.
MacDonald is certain to give Hartnell another perfect ride from barrier four in the thirteen horse Turnbull Stakes field.
Hartnell is dominating the betting for the Turnbull Stakes and is the $2.15 favourite at Labrokes.com.au ahead of last start Naturalism Stakes winner Jameka at $5.50 and the Robert Hickmott trained The United States at $6.50.
Trainer Darren Weir has scratched dual accepter Raw Impulse from the Group 3 $125,000 APN Outdoor Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday and the English import has been marked at $9.50 for the Turnbull Stakes.
Market order for the Turnbull Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.15 Hartnell, $5.50 Jameka, $6.50 The United States, $9.50 Raw Impulse, $13 Our Ivanhowe, $21 Preferment, Set Square, $26 Tally, Tarzino, $41 Happy Trails, Sofia Rosa, $126 Second Bullet, De Little Engine.