Godolphin won The BMW with Hartnell in 2014 and trainer John O’Shea has confirmed that last year’s winner as well as Magic Hurricane will head towards the Group 1 event during the 2016 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Hartnell made his racing debut with a second place finish behind Contributer in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 and he went on to take out the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) before he upset Japanese star To The World in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28.
O’Shea told Racing Ahead that Hartnell will follow a very similar path in 2016 and he is hopeful that the Authorized gelding can improved on his fourth place finish in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
“He only had a very light spring as it was despite the fact that he ran in the Melbourne Cup because it was a bit of a non-event the way the race was run and for him he just had a burn around,” O’Shea said.
“He will just go along the same path as last year –BMW and Sydney Cup – and hopefully he can go a little bit better in the Sydney Cup.”
Magic Hurricane made his Australian racing debut with a win in the Randwick City Council Handicap (1400m) in June and he was set for The Metropolitan during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
He recorded the first race win of his spring preparation when he bested Silverball in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 29 and he was narrowly denied in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on September 19 before he produced strong staying performance in The Metropolitan.
The Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) was originally set to be the major autumn goal for Magic Hurricane, but O’Shea has now decided to keep the Hurricane Run gelding in Sydney for races like the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and The BMW.
“He will just go along into The BMW,” O’Shea said.
“I had envisioned setting him for the Australian Cup, but he is probably a horse that just likes to get his toe into the ground and the ground in Melbourne at that time of year is pretty firm.
“We will probably just stay here.”
Hartnell will have the opportunity to become the first horse since Tie The Knot in 2000 to win The BMW in back-to-back years.