The John O’Shea stable is unconcerned with Hartnell drawing barrier seventeen in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday.
Stable representative Darren Beadman said that jockey James McDonald will let Hartnell settle back in the field from the wide gate and he will be strong at the end of the 3200m.
Beadman said the Godolphin stable was happy with Hartnell’s run in the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4 when he made up plenty of ground in the straight to be beaten only one and a quarter lengths when sixth to Melbourne Cup rival Preferment.
At his next run Hartnell raced a bit closer but never threatened at Moonee Valley when fifth to Winx in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
“Not at all,’ Beadman said when asked if barrier seventeen was a worry.
“James will just be able to come out on him in neutral, slot him in and get a nice run and hopefully get onto someone’s back and take him into the race.”
“He is a very fit horse. John (O’Shea) has trained him for one race particularly, being the Melbourne Cup.”
“I saw him work here (Flemington) this morning, he worked lovely, he is in a good frame of mind and he ticks all the boxes.”
“I have a lot of confidence in this horse, he has a great will to win.”
“The Moonee Valley track is not really his track. He is a big track horse where he can just chimes into it.
“But he has a lovely profile and he will position up nicely and he always gives a hundred per cent.”
Hartnell was sent out from England by the Godolphin team and O’Shea was able to get a quick result by winning the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill during the Sydney Autumn Carnival earlier in the year.
He followed that up with a fourth to Grand Marshall in the Group 1 $1.6m Schweppes 150th Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick when ridden out of his comfort zone.
“He has had a run over two miles, he ran in the Sydney Cup and he led which wasn’t probably the right sort of racing pattern for him,” Beadman said.
“His win in the BMW was outstanding and he has strong spirit and we are quite bullish about him.”
Godolphin will also have Sky Hunter carrying the stable’s royal blue and has drawn perfectly at barrier seven with top English jockey William Buick taking the ride.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor has declared Sky Hunter to be completely fit after developing a minor hoof injury early in the week but is back on track.
“The farrier he changed the shoe and he is back to normal,” bin Suroor said.
“I think he has a good. He won well in Dubai. The horse has travelled really well from England and he is ready to go and will need plenty of luck as usual.”
“We have been here many times for second and we are here this time to win the race.”
Sky Hunter hasn’t raced since running second to The Corsican in the Group 3 £60,000 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup (1 mile, 3 furlongs, 5 yards) at Newbury in England on September 19 but the five year old was a winner at his previous start in the Group 2 US$250,000 Dubai City Of Gold (2410m) at Meydan in Dubai on March 7.
Melbourne Cup market order with Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.80 Fame Game, $8.50 Trip To Paris, $10 Preferment, $13 Max Dynamite, Criterion, $17 Almoonqith, $19 Who Shot Thebarman, The United States, $21 Bondi Beach, Our Ivanhowe, Excess Knowledge, $26 Hokko Brave, Grand Marshall, Red Cadeuax, $31 Gust Of Wind, Hartnell, Kingfisher, $41 Snow Sky, $51 Sky Hunter, Big Orange, The Offer, $71 Quest For More, $81 Prince Of Penzance, $201 Sertorius.
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