Hartnell Could Take on Winx in the Group 1 Cox Plate
The clash of the titans is back on. Maybe.
It now seems as though Hartnell will skip Group 1 The Metropolitan at Randwick on October 1 to run the next day at Flemington in the Group 1Turnbull Stakes.
Hartnell apparently does not want to miss the AFL Grand Final, but apparently does not mind working on NRL Grand Final day.
At any rate, it could be a move designed to ensure a race against Winx in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 22. There is no truth to the rumour that if Hartnell refused to accept the gauntlet thrown down by Winx, the mare would jump codes to harness.
Hartnell has been moved to Melbourne in order to be acclimated.
Factors that contributed to the potential move included the plan for Scottish to run the Caulfield Cup rather than the Cox, along with Tryster cancelling an appearance in the Cox Plate.
The early betting picture had Hartnell favourite over Jameka in the Caulfield Cup and second favourite to Winx in the Cox Plate. Winx had her odds shortened in the Cox Plate when it seemed as though Hartnell would not appear, even though she beat him convincingly last year.
Winx and Hartnell had been set to run head-to-head in early September in the Chelmsford Stakes until Chris Waller scratched her because of wet track conditions at Randwick, which, given Winx’s success on slow surfaces, seemed like something of a head scratching decision.