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Hartnell Back Home But Options Remain Open

Godolphin’s Group One star Hartnell has returned to NSW to continue his autumn preparation following his first-up win at Caulfield last Saturday.
Hartnell made a fine start to his autumn campaign with a fighting win over a strong field in the G1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, raising conjecture that he could be heading for another clash with champion mare Winx at his next start.
However trainer James Cummings said the decision to bring Hartnell back to Osborne Park, Godolphin’s private training complex on Sydney’s western outskirts, does not lock the seven-year-old into a clash with Winx in the $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on March 3.
“We’ve got plenty of options on the table. We haven’t locked in anything yet because we need to see how he recovers from that big first-up performance,” Cummings said.
“We brought Hartnell back to Osborne Park because he’s a horse who loves to be turned out after his training and we get the opportunity to do that here. We can get him big and round and bouncing around before his next start.”

Hartnell wins the Orr Stakes
Cummings confirmed that exciting three-year-old Kementari will have his next start in the $400,000 Hobartville Stakes over 7 f at Rosehill on Saturday week following his soft first-up win at Warwick Farm last Saturday in the G3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m).
“We don’t have a more exciting three-year-old colt than Kementari. He will have one more run and then have the Randwick Guineas clearly in his sights,” Cummings said.
Cummings is also bullish about the Blue Diamond Stakes chances of impressive youngster Plague Stone after his strong second at Caulfield last Saturday.
“Plague Stone left an indelible mark despite being beaten,” Cummings said. “To be able to keep on surging to the line despite enduring a wide run was a really great pointer to his chances of going one better when he gets to the Blue Diamond.”

Plague Stone at Caulfield
Cummings will be focused on a strong team of autumn contenders at Randwick on Saturday led by the return of Godolphin’s top fily Alizee in the $200,000 Light Fingers STakjes (1200m).
Alizee dominated the 3YO fillies in Sydney in the spring with successive wins in the G2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and G1 Flight Stakes (1600m) before ending her spring with a third in the G1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield.
Cummings said he was impressed by the recent barrier trial of Alizee at Rosehill.
“She looked very strong storming home in a high class trial at Rosehill last week,” Cummings said.
“The Light Fingers is going to be a strong race but I’m sure they’re going to need to be pretty strong if they’re going to be matching motors with Alizee.
“She’s a terrific filly, she is very well treated at the weights and I feel she has improved a bit since the spring.”

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