artnell gave connections something to think about when he destroyed quality opposition to canter home in Sunday’s Group I Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Hartnell cantered home in the Turnbull Stakes. Photo: Darryl Sherer
Trainer John O’Shea would not be drawn on whether the import would run next in the Caulfield Cup or Cox Plate after Hartnell ($1.90 fav) cantered home 3 1/4-lengths clear of Jameka ($5).
“His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed) and John Ferguson will determine where he goes next,” O’Shea said.
“Obviously he’s got plenty of options on the table and he’ll be competitive in whatever race he runs in so I just hope he pulls up well.”
O’Shea said the race worked out perfectly for Hartnell.
“That was a nice effort today, the team here at Flemington has done a nice job to keep him ticking over after coming down from Sydney and the track today was in beautiful order.
“To be fair he did get it all his own way in the run but James (McDonald) made it happen and once he gets to that position where he’s rolling along in clear space he’s always going to be hard to beat.
Hartnell finished sixth in this race last year before finishing sixth in the Cox Plate and O’Shea said he had learned a lot about training the six-year-old since.
“I’ve learned a lot about him and it’s important to get him in the right frame of mind at the start of the prep,” O’Shea said.
“He’ll always finish a race off if you can get him to relax early and James is getting that done.”
McDonald was lost for words to describe the performance.
“Wow, that’s a performance – you just have to have a look at it. He’s going well.” McDonald said.
Tally ($19) was beaten seven lengths into third with Preferment staying on well for fourth, the race completed in 2:01.03.