Godolphin will have at least one runner in the Melbourne Cup with Hartnell a confirmed starter and a decision pending on Qewy.
The two finished third and fourth last year behind Almandin and Heartbreak City.
Godolphin’s Australian head trainer James Cummings was pleased with Hartnell’s course-proper gallop at Flemington on Tuesday and with the endorsement of owner Sheikh Mohammed, the seven-year-old will take his place in the Melbourne Cup.
Cummings, Hartnell has top weight of 57.5kg in the 3200m Melbourne Cup but the trainer, who took over from John O’Shea in July, believes he deserves to take his place.
“To have a Melbourne Cup runner for Sheikh Mohammed is a great honour and is also a credit to our team here in Australia who have got Hartnell to a level where he is a genuine contender,” Cummings said.
“He’s been racing a bit like a handicapper at his last couple of starts and the form around him is very strong.”
Qewy, from Charlie Appleby’s English stable, staked his claim with victory in Wednesday’s Bendigo Cup.
Travelling foreman Chris Connett said he would talk to Appleby who would make the final decision.