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Mixed fortunes for Godolphin Down Under

Hartnell suffers shock defeat as Alizee and Viridine strike at Randwick

Gulf News

Dubai: Team Godolphin endured a day of mixed fortunes in Australia on Saturday where a pair of victories at Randwick to some extent compensating for the shock defeat of stable-star Hartnell in the feature event at Flemington.

After comfortably winning the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield last month, Hartnell was expected to add Saturday’s Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes to his impressive record Down Under.

However, that was not to be as the Darley-bred son of Authorized, ridden for the first time by former Godolphin pilot Kerrin McEvoy, was out-run in the final furlong by Group 1 Australian Cup scorer, Humidor.

After tracking the pace for most of the 1600 metre contest, McEvoy pushed Hartnell to lead with a furlong and a half to run. But he was soon under pressure as Damian Lane delivered Humidor with a strong run to pull away for a 3-1/4 length victory margin. Black Heart Bart was a half-length away third.

“He finished off OK but the winner showed more dash than me there today,” McEvoy said.

Lane, who had earlier in the day escaped major injury during a fall, was delighted with his change in fortunes.

“I’m lucky to have escaped with no injury,” he said.

Following Saturday’s victory Humidor replaced Hartnell as favourite for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup and into second favourite for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup.

Meanwhile, Godolphin were celebrating a double at Randwick with trainer James Cummings saddling Alizee to capture the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes over 1400 metres.

When asked if Alizee could stretch her brilliance to the Randwick 1600m for the Flight Stakes, assistant trainer Darren Beadman said: “If she draws a gate and if she can switch off I suppose you have to have a throw at the stumps,’’ he said.

“She’s got into a nice rhythm today and Glyn (Schofield) rode her like she was sort of in a barrier trial, kept her nice and comfortable on the right horse’s back.

“It was really important just to keep her balanced and that is what we spoke about before the race. Just wait the extra 100m and then when they opened up she produced the brilliance she has always shown at home.

Earlier, Viridine, was a dominant winner of the Listed Heritage Stakes over 1100m.

“I’ve been a huge fan for a long time,’’ Beadman said of the winner. “He’s a lovely colt with a great attitude. He’s a sprinter, he won’t get much past 1400m but he is very good.’’

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