Godolphin trainer James Cummings is happy with what little he could see from Hartnell in a jump-out at Flemington.
With the track shrouded in fog, only the first 400m of Friday’s 800m jump-out was visible.
Cummings made the trip from Sydney to watch Hartnell, and a number of other Godolphin gallopers.
Also making a rushed trip from Sydney was Kerrin McEvoy who has been offered the ride on Hartnell.
“Kerrin, rightly so, has got to do the right thing by his clients and see where his availability may lie in the next few engagements the horse is targeting,” Cummings said.
Friday’s outing will be Hartnell’s only jump-out before his first-up assignment in the Group Two PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 19.
Cummings is delighted with how Hartnell is progressing.
“He was lovely and strong through the line,” Cummings said.
“He was sprightly and happy within himself so he’s right where we want him.”
Cummings said Hartnell would progress to the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on September 16 after which there were different paths the stable could take.
He said the stable was keeping an open mind on the Caulfield Cup.
“We know where we’re running in the early part of the spring, but it’s a long spring,” Cummings said.
“The horse, he’s seven now and a little while out of the winner’s circle and the opposition at weight-for-age in Melbourne is not going to be easy.
“He’s going to need to be back to his best but we’re mindful that we want to place him to advantage and if that happens to be the Caulfield Cup then we would not be afraid to take them on.”
— Grace Ramage (@gramage_) August 3, 2017