Hartnell and Jungle Cat out for more G1 success
Epsom Handicap winner Hartnell (James Cummings/James McDonald) will attempt to add another G1 “mile” to his record in Saturday’s G1 Toorak Handicap at Caulfield, a race in which he will be opposed by Jungle Cat (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle).
Cummings tossed up with the idea of running the horse in the G1 Caulfield Stakes over 2000m on the same card, but has chosen to keep his stable star to the shorter trip.
“We’ve been delighted with the way he’s come through that effort in the Epsom and we’ll proceed to the Toorak Handicap now, despite him having to carry the penalty for winning the Epsom,” Cummings said.
“He’s back up to 59kg, but I think that against those horses he’s very capable of being competitive with them at that weight.”
Hartnell is already a G1 winner at Caulfield having taken out the CF Orr Stakes over 1400m in February and has also won the G2 PB Lawrence Stakes over the same course and distance.
“He’ll enjoy getting back to Caulfield where he’s still got quite a good record,” Cummings said.
“Staying at 1600m for now looks perfect leading up a to a race like the G1 Cantala Stakes at Flemington later in the carnival.”
Jungle Cat, who like Hartnell is already a G1 winner in Australia this spring, give Godolphin a strong quinella prospect.
Appleby is confident the extra 200m in the Toorak will suit his horse.
“We were delighted he won the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke (on Sept 22), as that was the race we had picked out for him months ago. He deserved that win,” Appleby said.
“I thought the way he ran last time that the 1600m is going to suit him even better. James Doyle is back to take the ride again, which is a big positive.
“They know each other well.”