Well-travelled Hartnell back to Melbourne

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February 21, 2018 - 05:09 PM

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A few road trips are on the cards for Godolphin star Hartnell who returns to Caulfield for the Group Two Peter Young Stakes ahead of a planned Australian Cup mission.

Seven-year-old Hartnell won the Group One C F Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last Saturday week before being taken back to Godolphin's private training complex, Osborne Park, on the north-western outskirts of Sydney.

It's a routine trainer James Cummings plans to follow again after the Peter Young Stakes (1800m) on Saturday ahead of the Group One Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington two weeks later.

"He's done even better than I expected," Cummings said.

"Having him in the rural environment at Osborne Park has suited him perfectly.

"We just wanted to see him have an easy week, see how he recovered before we locked in any targets.

"He'll be bouncing off the truck when he arrives at the Flemington stables.

"I'm satisfied with the decision to go back to Melbourne for the Peter Young and the Australian Cup. It's the race for him, it's the best option."

Hartnell was at $3.60 on Wednesday for the weight-for-age Peter Young while last-start Carlyon Cup winner Gailo Chop was shading him as the $3.50 favourite in the field of 10.

The race will impact the Australian Cup market with a host of the leading contenders running.

"Running at Caulfield on Saturday will keep him in touch with the other horses and then we'll be taking him back to Sydney and come back again for the Flemington race," Cummings said.

"After that we'll have a think about some Group Ones in Sydney like the Ranvet Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth."