Qewy ready to make assault on Bendigo Cup

Frankie Dettori

Since Cummings has taken the reins at Godolphin, Hartnell has raced exclusively in Melbourne this preparation and hasn't been in the winner's circle since his Lawrence Stakes win over 1400-metres resuming.

Hartnell made way for a European stayer Scottish when he appeared to have the Caulfield Cup at his mercy previous year, instead taking on the Cox Plate and being the closest to Winx in her second win in the race, before his third to Almandin in the Melbourne Cup.

The stable had indicated the $2 million Emirates Stakes (2000m) on Saturday week would be Hartnell's next race.

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

"The more that the spring unfolded and we could see how everything was piecing together, the more we felt like it looks like a nice fit for the horse", Cummings said.

"But no final decision has been made just yet".

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

UK-based broadcaster Hayley Moore will analyse all of the global runners competing throughout the week and then to conclude each day, After The Last will have the complete wrap of the day, with feature guests and detailed analysis of how each race was run and won.

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

"But we're happy with the way the horse is going".

He carried 56.5kg in 2016 and would be top weight with 57.5kg this year.

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

"He looks to be working nicely towards a peak and if it happens that we run him in the Cup on Tuesday, I'm sure he'll acquit himself very well", Cummings said.

"So that option doesn't attract me".

"Our plan with him is to go forward and let him roll along a little bit and let his stamina come to the fore", Connett said.

Connett says the race won't be easy with only six opponents.

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