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Hartnell to run for Godolphin in Melbourne Cup.

Summary: Qewy and his trainer Charlie Appleby won the G3 Bendigo Cup

KT Report

Godolphin's Hartnell (near the rails) will run in the Melbourne Cup on November 7. (Courtesy Godolphin)

Godolphin's Hartnell would be lined up for the A$6 million (about Dhs 17 million) G1 Melbourne Cup on November 7.

The goal of Godolphin founder His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has endorsed Hartnell as the Godolphin runner, according to a press release from the stables.

The Australian head trainer of Godolphin, James Cummings, on Wednesday confirmedthat Hartnell would line up in the A$6 million race that has been the centrepiece of the country's racing calendar for more than 150 years.

The opportunity to win the Melbourne Cup will follow a weekend in which Godolphin's royal blue silks will be prominent across a range of races at the Breeders Cup meeting at Del Mar, California.

Hartnell, who finished third in last year's Melbourne Cup, has the top weight of 57.5kgon Tuesdayand his trainer is convinced he is again a worthy prospect.

"To have a Melbourne Cup runner for HH Sheikh Mohammed is a great honour and is also a credit to our team here in Australia who have got Hartnell to a level where he is a genuine contender," Cummings said.

Hartnell convinced the team his Cup credentials were in order with an impressive gallop at Flemingtonon Tuesday.

The British-bred seven-year-old won first-up in his current campaign at G2-level and then finished second twice at G1 before suffering severe interference behind Gailo Chop in the G1 Caulfield Stakes.

"He's been racing a bit like a handicapper at his last couple of starts and the form around him is very strong," Cummings said.

"The form from the Makybe Diva Stakes and the Underwood Stakes and Caulfield Stakes in which he's run well has been the best of the spring.

"Humidor showed that with his run behind Winx in the Cox Plate that it's as good a form reference as you'll find.

"So there's a lot to like about how Hartnell has been coming through."

Hartnell is a winner in England over the 3200m of the Melbourne Cup and has run in the Flemington feature for the past two years.

"He only had a 12-day break between those runs after racing in the Cox Plate. This time he's got a nice gap between runs which I think will do him a lot of good," Cummings said.

Hartnell worked over 1600mon Tuesdaymorning, pleasing Cummings and Cup jockey Damian Lane.

"I was delighted with him, Damian thought he felt great, he's nice and bright and alert," the trainer said.

"We are going to the Cup with a horse who puts himself into his races, whose form is sound and who can run 3,200 metres."

Meanwhile, The remarkable Australian form of both Qewy and his trainer Charlie Appleby won the G3 Bendigo Cup on Wednesday.

The winner 12 months ago of the G3 Geelong Cup and the Listed Sandown Cup, Qewy (Kerrin McEvoy) broke the 2,400m track record in his half-neck defeat of Kiwia.

In between his two wins in Australia last season, Qewy finished fourth in the G1 Melbourne Cup and his latest success has raised the possibility of him running innext Tuesday's2017 renewal of the race.

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby says there will be no rush decision on whether veteran stayer Qewy lines up inTuesday'sG1 Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

Appleby, currently based at Del Mar for the Breeders' Cup, watched Qewy's gutsy win in the listed Bendigo Cup on a mobile phone in a San Diego restaurant.

He said he was proud of the way the son of Street Cry 'toughed' it out in a tight finish.

"It's a great credit to our team, who have travelled down to Melbourne, and full credit to Qewy himself, who is such a tough, reliable campaigner.

"I understand they have run a track record, or close to it, so he will have had a hard race.

"We won't be in any hurry about deciding on the G1 Melbourne Cup. Let's see how he has come out of this.

"I will discuss it with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed in the next 48 hours," Appleby added.

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy said the win was a typically strong staying effort.

"We got into a nice spot then stepped it up from the four furlongs and made sure it was a staying test," he said.

"He'll come on for the run and if he was to go to the Cup he'd be a top-10 chance for sure."

sports@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Nov 1, 2017
Words:792
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