With the course proper open for gallops, Godolphin has taken advantage to give Hartnell his first look at Caulfield.
Hartnell runs in Saturday’s Group Two P B Lawrence Stakes and was joined at Caulfield by stablemates Souchez and Veranillo.
Souchez runs in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes with Veranillo to line up in the Vain Stakes.
David Charles, the Melbourne representative for Godolphin’s Australian trainer James Cummings, said Hartnell had no problems handling Caulfield.
“He hasn’t been here before so James took the opportunity to come here and have a look at the track,” Charles said.
“We were very happy with his work. It was solid work ahead of Saturday and he’s ready to run well.
“He tracked around on his right leg and got into a beautiful rhythm.”
Hartnell was sent to Melbourne late last month to give him time to settle into Godolphin’s Flemington base ahead of the spring.
He had a jump-out at Flemington on August 4 and Charles said that hit-out and his subsequent work had him in good order ahead of Saturday.
Charles said Hartnell did not need to improve his form to be competitive on Saturday.
“He’s just got to find his form again,” he said.
He said Hartnell, who galloped alone on Tuesday morning, should have no problems handling Caulfield under race conditions.
Charles said Caulfield, which was once considered a stumbling block for Sydney horses, was not so pronounced now with the camber on the track.
“Hartnell is an experienced horse,” Charles said.
“It may be a bit different for an inexperienced two-year-old that might have had only the one start.”
Following the P B Lawrence, Hartnell will contest the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on September 16 after which a decision will be made in which direction he heads.
“James and the team will wait until after the Makybe to then map out a plan,” Charles said.
“It’s all about the competition and how they are going at the time.”
Hartnell and fellow Group One winner Black Heart Bart are the CrownBet’s $3.20 favourites for the P B Lawrence.