A couple of stars of Godolphin’s Australian team of horses headline the entries for two Group One races at Caulfield.
Godolphin’s head trainer in Australia, James Cummings, has Hartnell scheduled to run in the Underwood while the gelding’s Doncaster Mile-winning stablemate It’s Somewhat headlines entries for the Sir Rupert Clarke (1400m).
Both are scheduled to head to Caulfield on Tuesday morning for a gallop in preparation for Sunday.
The weight-for-age Underwood has attracted 16 nominations including the Darren Weir-trained defending champion Black Heart Bart who has been placed in the Group One Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Group One Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) in his past two starts this spring.
Australian Oaks winner Bonneval is also entered for the Underwood after winning the Group Two Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley in her spring return.
Hartnell won the Group Two P B Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield first-up before finishing second to Humidor in the Makybe Diva Stakes, with Black Heart Bart third.
Godolphin’s Melbourne stable representative David Charles said Hartnell had come through the Makybe Diva Stakes well.
“We’re extremely happy with him,” Charles said.
“James was down last week. We’re really happy with the way he’s come through the race and we look forward to Sunday.”
It’s Somewhat is coming off a big autumn campaign in which he won the Group Two Ajax Stakes, the $3 million Group One Doncaster Mile and the Group Two Hollindale Stakes before being unplaced in the Doomben Cup.
“He’s in good order,” Charles said.
Seven-year-old It’s Somewhat had a barrier trial in Sydney late last month before heading to Melbourne and was taken to Cranbourne last week and won a barrier trial over 1090m with Craig Williams in the saddle.
“Craig was happy with the way he trialled,” Charles said.
“We thought he would just benefit from having the trip away, fitness-wise, so he’ll be ready to go.”
The Rupert Clarke Stakes has 24 nominations with a field limit of 16 plus emergencies.
Weir, Victoria’s premier trainer, has won the race for two of the past three years with Trust In A Gust (2014) and Stratum Star (2015) and looks set to have a strong hand again with Tosen Stardom, Lucky Hussler, Voodoo Lad and El Divino nominated.