Having settled close to the pace when taking out the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) last time out, trainer John O’Shea has revealed he will instruct James McDonald to ride leading contender Hartnell quitter in Saturday’s featured Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Hartnell was given little chance for success in what was his Australian racing debut in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28th but displayed an impressive turn of foot to charge home late and finish second to stable mate Contributer by less-than half a length.
Having pushed past most of the field of 15 over the final straight on that occasion, O’Shea is thrilled with the condition of the son of Authorized leading into The BMW and is hopeful he will be able to continue his winning form through the feature race.
“We are really happy with him,” O’Shea said.
“James was delighted with his work and we go into the race confident that he is at his best.
“We usually work him solo, but we gave him a bunny to chase down this morning in his final piece of work.
“He is a very happy horse and he is going through his paces nicely.
“The one thing we learnt from Contributer is that as they get deeper into their preps, he will be third-up on Saturday as Contributer was last week, they are coming to a bit of a peak and ideally James would just ride him where he is comfortable.
“We had to ride him a certain way second-up to get the job done, but I think that he would be better ridden a bit quieter and we will endeavour to that this week.
“Those horses that produced that big performance first-up are always going to come back a bit second-up and I think that both Hartnell and Contributer did that, but were still able to win.
“Coming into the race third-up you would expect them to bounce back and if we let him find his feet he might be able to show that turn-of-foot.”
Posting a commendable race record of six wins and a further five minor place finishes over his 15 start career so far, Hartnell is currently available at 2015 The BMW odds of $3.60 for success with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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