Caulfield Meeting Kind to Old Man Hartnell
Hartnell, the perennial second fiddle to Winx, has re-emerged to prove that age is no barrier, so long as the talent is present, to win the first Group 1 of 2018, the Ladbrokes C F Orr Stakes (1400 m) AT Caulfield Racecourse.
James Cummings had the veteran in good form and Craig Williams rode beautifully, bringing Hartnell from the middle of the pack over the last 400 m to win by a head over Single Gaze in second and Brave Smash in third.
Hartnell paid a nice dividend to backers, jumping at around $6, give a take a fluc or two, depending on the bookmaker. Tosen Stardom, the pre-race favourite, Tosen Stardom ($4), had a bad show, running 11th out of the 13 in the C F Orr field.
The Group 2 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400 m) preceded the Orr Stakes and was won by Holy Snow ($16) over Mr So And So in second and Astoria in third.
Race 6 of the meeting, the Group 2 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100 m), went to Super Cash ($4.60) in a narrow win over Flamberge and pre-race favourite Flamberge ($3.40).
Keen punters also took an interest in the Group 3 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude for colts and geldings. Written By ($6) was the winner for jockey Jordan Childs and trainer Grahame Begg. Plague Stone was second and Native Soldier was third.
Written By may attract some interest in the Blue diamond Stakes when it jumps. So far, the two-year-old colt by Written Tycoon from Yau Chin is undefeated in two races and one trial.
Next weekend will feature the Group 1 Lightning Stakes as Group 1 racing returns to Flemington. Terravista won the race in 2017 and racing down the Flemington straight provides some exciting action.
Redzel leads the list and is currently quoted at $1.85 on Ladbrokes, but some of the other potential runners will doubtless shorten as the final field is announced and the barriers drawn.