Eight stayers have been confirmed in the final field for Saturday’s 2016 Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick, following the completion of a barrier draw this morning.
Hartnell has returned to racing in exceptional form this time and has been confirmed for his third-up run in the 2016 Hill Stakes field.
Hartnell began his racing career under the guidance of notable British trainer Mark Johnston, but has undoubtedly found his best form since arriving in Australia prior to the 2015 Autumn Carnival.
Posting a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) last year, Hartnell returned in autumn this year for a hit-and-run fifth in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) on February 27th.
Resuming this time for second behind Winx in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) on August 20th, the Authorized gelding delivered a handy field a resounding eight length defeat in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) two weeks ago and will only relish a step up to 2000m on Saturday.
Godolphin will launch a two-pronged attack on the Group 2 feature after trainer John O’Shea also confirmed Magic Hurricane (barrier 1) in the Hill Stakes field.
Chris Waller has dominated the 2016 Hill Stakes field; confirming four of the race’s eight runners, including 2015 winner Preferment.
A multiple Group 1 winner, Preferment has returned to racing in typically smart form this year and should prove tough to beat in the Hill Stakes from barrier 4, with Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
Posting his maiden race win in the 2014 edition of the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m), Preferment progressed from his win in the Hill Stakes last year to a second win at the highest level in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Resuming this year for fourth in the Chipping Norton Stakes, the Zabeel entire won the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on protest before claiming his fourth Group 1 win in The BMW on March 26th.
Preferment is sure to have taken plenty of benefit from a first-up run for fourth in the Chalemsford Stakes and is another runner that will relish a return to 2000m in the Hill Stakes.
Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young have confirmed Tavago in the 2016 Hill Stakes field.
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2016 Hill Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x4650x5x21||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||5||59kg||116|
|2||907x4110x4||PREFERMENT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4||59kg||115|
|3||1x90324x65||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Christian Reith||8||59kg||111|
|4||3x08533x72||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||Rory Hutchings||6||59kg||108|
|5||2314x797x3||STORM THE STARS (USA)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||7||59kg||108|
|6||21x7966x53||MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE)||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||1||59kg||106|
|7||4x8xD21x00||SIGNOFF (IRE)||Darren Weir||Craig Williams||3||59kg||106|
|8||2113061×0||TAVAGO (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||–||2||58kg||109|