He's all heart: Hartnell breaks track record at Randwick
Hartnell showed he was anything but a spent force when the eight-year-old turned in a career-best performance to carry topweight and break the course record in a thrilling last-stride win in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap at Randwick.
Ridden for just the second time by Hugh Bowman, who so many times has broken Harntell’s heart aboard Winx, Hartnell made light work of his heavy weight to mow down D’Argento.
His time of 1.32.73s is the quickest recorded over the Randwick mile.
For three-time winning trainer Chris Waller, it was a matter of so close yet so far. On top of his second placing with D’Argento, Waller prepared the third-placed horse Unforgiven as well as the fourth-placed Shillelagh.
For trainer James Cummings, Hartnell’s fourth Group 1 win was a special one.
"I just really can’t believe it, but you know you have belief in your horse and he’s a super horse Hartnell," Cummings said.
"He’s just had a great build up to this race. It was a bold move running in the Epsom when he could have run at a weight-for-age and a strong chance in the Hill Stakes.
"He had 57kg, he’s just dropped in the ratings a few points, I had a good chat to Greg Carpenter only a couple of weeks ago and he reminded me these horses are tough, they’re trying to be lured into running in these big handicaps
"He’s not getting any younger, but it’s his fourth Group 1 win in Australia."
Oohood comes of age in thrilling Flight Stakes
Perennial bridesmaid Oohood shrugged her maiden status on one of racing’s biggest stages with a thrilling win in the Group 1 Flight Stakes.
A three-time Group 1 runner-up that had picked up more than $1 million for connections in nine winless starts, the daughter of I Am Invincible got the better of Fiesta, Nakeeta Jane and Miss Fabulass in a thrilling finish to the $500,000 feature.
Less than a neck separated the four fillies on the line and trainer Tony McEvoy was understandably relieved to be on the end of a winning photo finish, having been cruelly denied in the Golden Slipper and the Sires' Produce last season.
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