Jockey Damian Lane has been glowing in his report on evergreen Godolphin galloper Hartnell following a recent jump-out at Flemington.
Lane partnered Hartnell for trainer James Cummings in Friday’s 800m work-out in which his rivals included Malibu Style, Vega Magic and Volkstok’n’barrell.
It was the nine-year-old’s second serious hit-out as he prepares for his racing return, likely to be in the Group Two P B Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 17.
Hartnell won the Lawrence in 2017 and finished second to Showtime last year.
Lane could not hide his delight in the way Hartnell handled himself in Friday’s jump-out.
“He went brilliant. He’s in really good order,” Lane said.
“He’s still got a lot of condition on him but I was very happy with him and I’d say he’ll be in for a very good prep.”
Before heading to Japan for a two-month stint, Lane won the Golden Slipper at Rosehill for Godolphin and Cummings aboard Kiamichi.
He is yet to hear whether he has secured the ride on Hartnell in tCraig Williams for the previous two years.
“I’m not sure yet, but I’ve certainly got my hand up for him,” Lane said.
Lane has returned from Japan in good form, riding a winner at Pakenham last Thursday and another at Moonee Valley on Saturday.