Godolphin star Hartnell set for final run in Mackinnon Stakes next month
Godolphin flagbearer and former Royal Ascot winner Hartnell is set for his final start on what will be his 34th run in top-level company in the Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington on November 9.
Consistent, versatile and durable are three of many words to describe the eight-year-old, who started his career with Mark Johnston, for whom he landed the Queen’s Vase at the royal meeting and the Bahrain Trophy five years ago.
Since heading to Australia, Hartnell has mixed it in all the big races for John O’Shea and for the last three seasons for James Cummings, grandson of legendary trainer Bart Cummings.
The 2016 Melbourne Cup third is a four-time Group 1 winner in the southern hemisphere and had it not been for Winx he would have two more, having finished second to the star mare in the 2016 Cox Plate and Queen Elizabeth Stakes the following year.
Hartnell’s Group 1 form figures
A 13-time winner from 57 starts, Hartnell has finished second or third on another 22 occasions. There will be a mix of emotions for Cummings when his stable star, a recent seventh in the Caulfield Cup, runs for the last time next month.
Cummings, who celebrated his 100th stakes winner for Godolphin last week, said: “His profile speaks for itself and we’ll remember his racing feats fondly as he has a wonderful record.
“He’s proved to be consistent and versatile at the top level and that’s a rare quality. It shows a tremendous amount of spirit in the horse and we’re very lucky to have had him in the stable.
“He’s a beautiful horse to train – he’s a magnificent animal and been able to achieve so much. It would be a wonderful end to his career if he could go out on a high.”
Godolphin landed Australia’s biggest race last year when Cross Counter landed the Melbourne Cup under Kerrin McEvoy but he will have a new jockey for his back-to-back bid with James Doyle taking over.
William Buick will ride the progressive Ispolini, while McEvoy is set to partner leading contender Finche for Chris Waller.
For the freshest betting advice, based on latest going and market conditions, don't miss the Live Tipster every afternoon. Just click Raceday Live at racingpost.com or the mobile app