O’Shea Strategy of Running Hartnell in Ranvet Seems Sound

Any of the uninformed that think thoroughbred trainers do not possess highly strategic thought processes might need to consider the obvious genius behind Goldolphin trainer John O’Shea’s tactic of avoiding another confrontation with Winx in Saturday’s Group 1 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill.

O’Shea’s six-year-old bay gelding will not expend energy over 1500 m, opting instead to run the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes at 2000 m, where Hartnell is a $1.90 favourite in an eight-horse field. Robert Hickmott’s The United States is the closest at $5.00.

Hartnell and Winx may pass each other to or from the paddock, but that is the only place Hartnell stands any chance of passing Winx.

O’Shea has made the most that could be expected from Hartnell, pulling in a bit beyond $3 million in 30 races. Across those 30 races, Hartnell has averaged a bit over $100,000 every time he jumps.

Hartnell’s last outing in February saw him have a bad day in the Group 1 Chipping Norton, finishing eighth, with six horses between him and Chris Waller’s super mare.

His last Group 1 win was the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington last spring. He has won at the Group 1 level previously at Rosehill, way back in March of 2015, taking the BMW.

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