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Hartnell Confirmed For Melbourne Cup
Trainer John O'Shea says Melbourne Cup favourite Hartnell has pulled up fit and well following his runner-up performance behind champion Winx in last Saturday's Gr1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley. "He's come through the run better than I expected and I am happy with where he is at," O'Shea told Godolphin.com. "James [jockey James McDonald] looked after him beautifully in the run, not punishing him late and letting him stride to the line." He added: "We paid up today [Monday] for second acceptances and hope to have a good week with him in the lead up to the Cup. " O'Shea said the Godolphin team would monitor Hartnell over the next fortnight but at this stage it was all systems go for the first Tuesday in November. "If at any stage we are not happy with him we will have no hesitation in pulling him out," he said. "But this stage everything is on track and we're excited to have a strong chance in Australia's great race." Hartnell heads a strong Godolphin contingent for this year's Melbourne Cup with Scottish, Tally, Qewy, Oceanographer, Secret Number and Beautiful Romance also among yesterday's second acceptances. Hartnell (Authorized-Debonnaire, by Anabaa) is currently a $4.60 favourite for the Melbourne Cup ahead of Caulfield Cup winner Jameka at $6.