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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Hartnell on course to tackle Winx again in Chipping Norton after Orr success

Craig Williams riding Hartnell to victory in the Orr stakes
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Report: Caulfield, Saturday
Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (Group 1) | 7f, 3yo+

Hartnell has had a front-row seat to witness Winx's brilliance on the racetrack on more than one occasion and the old foes could clash again next month following his latest success.

The evergreen seven-year-old secured a third Group 1 on Saturday in the Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield and his attentions could now be turned to the Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick next month.

He would be renewing acquaintances with Winx, who has defeated him each time they have met with Hartnell finishing runner-up on four of those seven occasions.

Trainer James Cummings is hoping a fitness edge could help the Godolphin star finally turn the tables, and, quoted by the Herald Sun, said: "I had a little funny feeling if he was to return as good as that, maybe we could target a Chipping Norton with him second up, and we would have the fit horse on the scene."

When asked whether another rematch was likely, Cummings added: "We won't lock in any plans. I don't want to disappoint anybody, I know where my preferences lie."

Hartnell got the verdict in the Orr Stakes by a short head in what was an action-packed finish, with connections of more than one challenger entitled to feel hard done by.

With 13 runners jostling for position in the straight, space was at a premium and there were several hard luck stories in behind with Brave Smash, Abbey Marie and Mighty Boss among those short of room at crucial points.

Michael Walker, who rode Mighty Boss, said: "You only have to watch the race to know he should have won."

Race result

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We won't lock in any plans. I don’t want to disappoint anybody, (but) I know where my preferences lie
E.W. Terms
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