The Courier-Mail

Num­bers game says it’s tough for Hart­nell

- NATHAN EX­ELBY @xlb­nathan_c­mail

HART­NELL will fly in the face of a daunt­ing record for 3200m run­ners when he re­sumes in the Chelms­ford Stakes at Rand­wick to­day.

The BMW win­ner is ex­pected to be one of Godol­phin’s stars this spring.

Bet­ting agen­cies marked him a clear favourite when mar­kets opened for the Chelms­ford af­ter his two out­stand­ing re­cent tri­als.

Hart­nell an­nounced him­self in Aus­tralia with a rip­ping sec­ond to sta­ble­mate Con­tributer in the Chip­ping Nor- ton Stakes last au­tumn and then won his next two, be­fore flop­ping as favourite in the Syd­ney Cup.

Hav­ing stretched to the marathon 3200m, Hart­nell now needs to join an elite club to have won first-up off that trip. Since 2012, 226 horses have at­tempted the feat in Aus­tralia for only six win­ners. In Group races, the fig­ure is three from 73.

Away from black type races, Bart Cum­mings’ Reign­ing was a shock $41 win­ner over 1400m in 2012 and the fol­low­ing Au­gust Tus­can Fire won at $101 first up af­ter the Ade­laide Cup.

Closer to home, Dar­ren Bell man­aged the feat with Eight’s A Party, who was a $13 Sun­shine Coast win­ner first up over 1200m af­ter a Queens­land Cup flop last De­cem­ber.

Trainer John O’Shea warned Hart­nell may not be as for­ward for his first spring run as he was in the au­tumn.

“He’s tri­alled very well, but he’s a lot big­ger than what he was first up last time,” O’Shea told RSN.

“I don’t think he will be as ef­fec­tive, but in say­ing that he has im­proved since last prepa­ra­tion and I’m sure he will run well.”

O’Shea said this run should give Hart­nell the foun­da­tion to be a key player in the Un­der­wood Stakes later in the month.

Chris Waller nar­rowed his 11 Chelms­ford run­ners down to Ker­madec and Royal De­scent be­ing his win­ning chances, in a race where he be­lieves Por­nichet and Hart­nell are the only other re­al­is­tic hopes.

“Ker­madec has trained on well,’’ he said.

“I think he will re­ally im­prove. He will clearly be in the fin­ish with those oth­ers I men­tioned.’’

Waller has iden­ti­fied win­ter raider Flamingo Star as a lead­ing Ep­som chance this sea­son be­fore his re­turn in the Tramway Stakes this af­ter­noon.

VAN­COU­VER has been ruled out of the Golden Rose next week, with trainer Gai Waterhouse opt­ing to con­cen­trate on the Caulfield Guineas, as she did with fel­low Slip­per win­ner Pierro in 2012.

 ??  ?? FIRST-UP TEST: James McDon­ald on board Hart­nell dur­ing track­work. Pic­ture: Gregg Por­te­ous
FIRST-UP TEST: James McDon­ald on board Hart­nell dur­ing track­work. Pic­ture: Gregg Por­te­ous

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