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 Australian Racing News 
Monday, February 20 2017

Brenton Avdulla says he is grateful for the chance to ride Hartnell for the Godolphin stable at Randwick next Saturday.

Trainer John O’Shea has booked Sydney premiership leader Avdulla to take over as Hartnell’s rider from the injured James Doyle in the $250,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).

“It’s a privilege to get the call up. Godolphin have been very loyal to me and given me great opportunities over the last few years,” Avdulla said.


It will be a major assignment for Avdulla as Hartnell will bid to end the winning sequence of champion mare Winx in a continuation of their rivalry that now spans almost 18 months.

Winx has won her last 14 races with Hartnell finishing behind the great mare in five of those races including two Cox Plates.

The mare extended her sequence when she beat the Godolphin import into second place when making her superb return to racing in the Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick last Monday.

The old rivals are set to go their separate ways after the Chipping Norton Stakes with Winx to run in the George Ryder Stakes (1500m) while Hartnell will step up to his more favoured distance of 2000m in the Ranvet Stakes.

Avdulla admits beating Winx over 1600m will be is a challenge but knows Hartnell will be fitter for his game second to the mare last week when he was beaten 2.75 lengths.

“The only way she gets beat is probably bad luck or if she has an off day,” Avdulla said.

“Hartnell has bigger targets in store. I will just enjoy the ride and see what happens.”

Posted by: AT 02:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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