Hartnell ready to turn the tables on Plenty
GODOLPHIN warhorse Hartnell is poised to land his second Group 1 mile of the season when he tackles the $1m Kennedy Mile (1600m) at Flemington tomorrow.
The gelding showed he has lost none of his zest for racing when came with a strong finish to take out the Epsom Handicap at Royal Randwick last month before a gallant second to Land Of Plenty in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap at Caulfield three weeks ago.
He meets his victor better the weights this week and a return to spacious Flemington track has Cummings confident of another big showing.
“There was no more popular winner at Randwick than Hartnell,” Cummings said.
“He has a 2.5kg weight turnaround with Land Of Plenty from the Toorak Handicap.
“That should make things pretty interesting back at Flemington where Hartnell’s probably a length better horse.”
“He’s in terrific shape, dancing around the stables. He’s got the skin of a two-year-old colt.
“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Hartnell and he’s never disappointed me over seven furlongs or a mile and keeping him to those trips has been extremely rewarding.
“He enjoys the shorter work as well as the races. That’s what we’ve stuck to this campaign and he’s kept on running well.”
The son of Authorised, who reunites with his Epsom winning jockey Hugh Bowman tomorrow, should settle midfield from his draw.
“With any luck he would have a similar run tomorrow and dive at them up the straight at Flemington,” Cummings said.
Stablemate Best Of Days is the first emergency for the Kennedy Mile and is more than a knockout chance should he gain start.
“Best Of Days had the blinkers on in the Group 3 Coongy Cup and I think they a positive effect,” Cummings said.
“He cruised up on the outside of Ranier in his gallop Tuesday morning and they matched strides. Best Of Days was doing it well within himself.”