MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — AUGUST 19: Craig Williams riding Hartnell wins Race 7, P.B. Lawrence Stakes during Melbourne Racing at Caulfield Racecourse on August 19, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — AUGUST 19: Craig Williams riding Hartnell wins Race 7, P.B. Lawrence Stakes during Melbourne Racing at Caulfield Racecourse on August 19, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

Hartnell ready for third crack at Melbourne Cup

JAMES Cummings confirmed that last year's Melbourne Cup placegetter Hartnell will again contest this year's Melbourne Cup.

Although Cummings hadn't publicly committed to the Melbourne Cup, he said Hartnell had been paid up for the whole time.

"Provided there's no hiccup between now and then there's every likelihood he will be there," Cummings said on RSN this morning.

"He's got the right form having finished third in the race last year."

"Since then he's been racing well against the likes of Gailo Chop and Single Gaze."

Cummings said he has changed his training tactics going into this year's Melbourne Cup with Hartnell,

"I'm going to have him nice and fresh going into the race."

Cummings said last year Hartnell ran third in the Melbourne Cup after finishing second in the Cox Plate.

Cummings believes Hartnell races best fresh and has decided to take that approach into the Melbourne Cup.

"I watched my grandfather (Bart Cummings) all the way along and he was always experimenting," Cummings said.

Cummings said looking at last year he didn't think Hartnell's third in the Melbourne Cup was as good as his win in the Turnbull Stakes which came after a 29 day break.

Cummings said he felt Hartnell raced a bit flat at his last start when he finished ninth in the Caulfield Stakes which was off a 13 day break.

"He needed to bounce back and he loves 3200m. I think he's raced like a two miler this time in and he's also won over two miles back in England," he said.

This will be Hartnell's third consecutive Melbourne Cup as he also finished 15th in 2015.

Hartnell will be ridden by Damian Lane who picked up the ride after losing the mount on Humidor.



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