There could be an eighth edition of the Winx-Hartnell showdown next month in Sydney after Hartnell returned to the group 1 winner’s list in Saturday’s C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield.
With that run under his belt and with Winx having to go to the 1600-metre Chipping Norton Stakes first-up after a decision to miss next week’s Apollo Stakes, Cummings said he will contemplate returning Hartnell to Sydney for the Group 1 after the narrow but brave win of the seven-year-old.
‘’I just had a little funny feeling that if he was to return as good as that, maybe we could target the Chipping Norton second-up and have the fit horse on the scene,’’ Cummings said after the narrow victory.
‘’The horse does sprint well on the fresh side and I do like the idea of keeping him fresh.’’
On having to tackle Winx if he was to take the Chipping Norton path, Cummings said: ‘’I’ll place Hartnell in the best race he can win but it’s a weight-for-age group 1 mile at Randwick.’’
For the record, Winx has beaten Hartnell at all seven of their clashes with Hartnell four times being the runner-up.
Hartnell and Craig Williams prevail over a wall of horses, picture Quentinjlang.com
Saturday’s victory was Hartnell’s 12th victory from 38 starts and it took his earnings to more than $4.7 million.
While the Godolphin camp were delighted with the first Group 1 victory of 2018, there were any number of connections claiming they should have won in what was a rough race.
Kathy O’Hara certainly was of that mind-set after the consistent mare Single Gaze charged late into second place. ‘’She probably should have won,’’ O’Hara said. ‘’She got held up and she unwound as well as she ever has fresh so hopefully she’s in for a good campaign.’’
John Allen thought he was going to win the race on Brave Smash. ‘’Super run. We just had to wait for a run turning in. I thought I had it at the 50 metre mark so he might have peaked on his run a fraction but it was a super run.’’
Michael Walker could hardly speak after coming back to scale Caulfield Guineas winner Mighty Boss, who finished a luckless seventh. ‘’I don’t think I need to say too much. You only have to watch the race. He should have won.’’
One rider that wasn’t claiming he should have won was Damian Lane on the favourite Tosen Stardom, who wound up in 11th place.
‘’We went out with the wrong tactics hoping to ride him midfield or a touch worse. I should have ridden him cold as he just fired-up and over-raced.’’
Hartnell (GB), picture Quentinjlang.com
What a race! All heart! Hartnell lifts late to win the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes. pic.twitter.com/xjeHdLzx3D— Racing.com (@Racing) February 10, 2018