$600 in Bonus Bets
Get your first bet matched with up to $600 in bonuses*
$500 Matched Deposit
Sign-up, deposit $500 & receive $500 in bonus bets. That's $1000 to bet with!*
Deposit $250, Bet with $550
Sign-up, deposit $250 & receive $300 in bonus bets. That's $550 to bet with!*
500% Deposit Bonus
Sign-up, deposit $20 & receive $100 in bonus bets. That's $120 to bet with!*
$500 Matched Deposit
Sign-up and get your first deposit matched with up to $500 in bonus bets*
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
John O'Shea says Hartnell warrants his place at the top of Melbourne Cup markets

Hartnell has come through his Cox Plate run in great order and his trainer John O’Shea believes he deserves to be favourite heading into the 2016 Melbourne Cup.

Hartnell was no match for champion mare Winx when eight lengths second in last Saturday’s Cox Plate and is the $4.20 favourite for Tuesday’s Cup, with Caulfield Cup winner Jameka, who Hartnell beat two starts ago, at $5.50.

“I think that his form warrants for him to be head of the market,” O’Shea said.

“There are horses with less form who have started shorter in Melbourne Cups and been very effective. So I think he’s entitled to be somewhere near the top of the market.”

Hartnell is a winner over 3200m as a three-year-old in England but has been beaten in his only two attempts at the distance since being imported to Australia.

He was fourth as odds-on favourite in last year’s Sydney Cup before finishing 15th in the Melbourne Cup after he drew wide and got a long way back.

“To be fair to him he hasn’t had circumstances that have suited him,” O’Shea said.

“It would be nice to draw well and James could have him in a forward position and then we’ll get a true indication of his capacity to run 3200 metres here.

“I think in the Sydney Cup if we had our time over again we wouldn’t have led. That probably didn’t help. And last year in the Melbourne Cup once he drew where he drew and when we went back the race was over, so I think they’re inconclusive.”

McDonald is confident the distance is not an issue and says Hartnell’s form shows he’s going better this spring.

“Last year he was quite fierce in his races and had a few faults going into the race whereas this year his preparation has been faultless,” McDonald said.

“John’s got him in tip-top order and he’s relaxing a lot better. That was the biggest concern last year, he just wasn’t relaxing.

“This year he’s a different horse. He’s got the right attributes to run the 3200. He relaxes well and he’s a weight-for-age performer racing under handicap conditions. So it looks pretty well set up for him.”

McDonald believes Hartnell ticks all the boxes and says the big track at Flemington will suit him.

Hartnell’s stablemate Tally runs in Saturday’s Lexus Stakes but is not expected to take his place in the Melbourne Cup in which Godolphin has another five horses expected to line up.

“I think His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed) has a lot of great chances in the race and I think we can find alternative challenges for Tally,” O’Shea said.

The Lexus Stakes is the last chance for a Melbourne Cup nominated horse to gain an automatic start in the race the following Tuesday.

Deposit $50, Bet with $250
Sign-up, deposit $50 & receive $200 in bonus bets. That's $250 to bet with!*
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
Racecourse: Flemington
  • DEPOSIT $500
    start betting
  • first bet
    up to
  • DEPOSIT $20
    start betting
  • DEPOSIT $250
    start betting
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
Featured News

Over $5,000 in Bonus Free Bets

Just Horse Racing provides readers with the best Free Bet offers available at every online bookmaker in Australia during the...

Chautauqua to step-out on Friday

A reprieve from Racing Victoria will see cult horse Chautauqua go around at Flemington on Friday. The Hawkes Racing-trained sprinter...

Avilius to miss Metropolitan Handicap

Progressive imported stayer Avilius will not run in the Metropolitan Handicap at Randwick with Godolphin to instead aim him at...

Owner banned over offensive racehorse name

A racehorse owner has been disqualified for 18 months for knowingly giving a horse an offensive name and subsequently giving...

Nash Rawiller reportedly back in Australia

Jockey Nash Rawiller is reportedly back in Australia after avoiding charges from Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption. The 43-year-old...

Darren Weir charged over incorrect identification of horses

Premier Victorian trainer Darren Weir has been fined $5000 over the incorrect identification of seven horses which contested jump-outs at...

Copyright © 2018 Just Horse Racing.
All rights reserved - Privacy Policy

Gamble Responsibly 18+
*State exclusions apply to some offers. Please check T&Cs of each offer with the bookmaker. All Offers Exclude NSW residents.