Hartnell returns to the yard for the final time (Image: Racing Photos)

Brave Hartnell bids farewell

Hartnell produced a typically brave performance to bow out of racing with another Group 1 placing in Saturday's Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.

Godolphin's retiring star looked a winning chance at the top of the straight when he claimed the lead from Gailo Chop but was quickly collared by eventual winner Magic Wand.

The nine-year-old fought doggedly over the final 300m and finished little more than a length adrift of the Irish mare, with Melody Belle edging the veteran out in a photo finish for second.

Among Hartnell's 13 wins were G1 scalps in the Epsom Handicap (1600m), C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m), Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and The BMW (2400m).

The son of Authorized also departs the racetrack with 14 G1 placings to his name.

Trainer James Cummings said a special chapter in Godolphin's history had come to an end.

"I thought he was home," Cummings joked.

"Hugh was delighted with the performance and he was proud of the horse's effort.

"He did blend in like he was in some control of the race and there were plenty of good horses that Hartnell beat home this afternoon.

"He's run his final race for us but he'll always share a special place in our hearts when we're thinking about the big carnivals for years to come."

Hartnell will remain in the care of Godolphin's Reg Fleming and, after a spell, is expected to be re-educated for an equestrian career.

WATCH: Hartnell's final run