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“Great warrior” Hartnell has big win ahead this prep

2 years ago

Godolphin is confident Hartnell can clinch victory in an elite race despite commencing yet another campaign.

The eight-year-old ran a fast-finishing third behind stablemate Alizee in Saturday’s Futurity Stakes at Caulfield to notch a 14th top-three result in Group 1s.

Even though Hartnell is closing in on 50 starts and becoming a bit long in the tooth, he still possesses both the ability and desire to triumph in another top event according to Vin Cox, Godolphin’s racing manager.

“I’m fairly certain he’s got a (big) win in him (this preparation),” he said on SEN’s Whateley.

“One of the great thrills last year was Hartnell winning the Epsom, the time-honoured race in Sydney.

“It speaks volume for his soundness. He’s run third in a Melbourne Cup, he’s won an Epsom Handicap as an eight-year-old and we set him off on a campaign three weeks ago in a 1200-metre race.

“And there he is racing on Saturday at 1400 metres. Hugely versatile, hugely sound and just a horse that wants to do battle.”

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The winner of more than $5.5 million in prize money will head toward the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill on March 23 with the Doncaster Handicap (April 6) also on the agenda if he fails to gain a start in the All-Star Mile.

Hartnell is currently the first emergency for the $5 million Group 1 event to be held at Flemington on March 16.

“I think a lot of people would love to see him in there,” Cox added of the prospect of Hartnell gaining a run in the brand new concept race.

“He’s such a wonderful horse, he’s a great warrior.

“Every time we turn him out onto the racecourse he just puts in. He wants to get in there and do battle and never lets us down. The horse is just loving his racing, he is thriving.

“If we can get there (to the All-Star Mile) it will be a lot of fun.”

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