Sydney racegoers are in for another Autumn Carnival treat as they witness the final Australian appearance of glamour colt All Too Hard in the Group 1 $400,000 Yarraman Park All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Sydneysiders crammed into Randwick to see super mare Black Caviar grace the turf for the last time when she collected her twenty-fifth victory in the Group 1 $1m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) two weeks ago.
Now her half brother All Too Hard will be saddled up for the last time in Australia with a trip to Royal Ascot to run in the Group 1 £250,000 The Queen Anne Stakes (1 mile) in June a possibility before lining up for stud duties at Vinery Stud this coming Spring.
John Hawkes, head trainer for Team Hawkes, says that All Too Hard has completely recovered from a virus which saw him a shock race morning scratching from the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 2.
Prior to that, the $25million colt had scored twice at Group 1 weight for age in the $400,000 Sportingbet C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) and the $500,000 Cathay Pacific Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, living up to huge expectations after being brought by Vinery Stud in partnership with several other prominent racing interests.
“He had a bit of a virus in Melbourne but he’s well and truly over that now,” Hawkes said..
“It was an issue then, but it’s not an issue at all now.”
But Hawkes is happy to get through tomorrow’s contest against a tough line up in the All Aged Stakes before concentrating on any overseas campaign.
“Let’s just get over tomorrow first before we start looking at anything else,” Hawkes said.
“That’s a fair way off.
“I’m just concerned about tomorrow and the rest will take care of itself.”
Even though All Too Hard has won in Sydney as a two year old, many racing enthusiasts consider his has kept his best form in Melbourne where he won the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield before running second to Ocean Park in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in the Spring.
All Too Hard is coming up against Gai Waterhouse’s super mare More Joyous, who was desperately unlucky when fifth to Appearance in the Group 1 $400,000 Inglis Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on April 6 and Epaulette who ran a gutsy race when second to Black Caviar two weeks s ago.
But with plenty of pace to be guaranteed with front runner Rain Affair certain to set a solid pace, co trainer Michael Hawkes is confident All Too Hard will be there at the finish.
“With Rain Affair hopefully we get that genuine tempo. The only thing he has to do is win that Group 1 in Sydney and hopefully he can do that on Saturday,” Michael Hawkes said.
More Joyous has been posted the $2.50 favourite just ahead of All Too Had at $2.90 with Epaulette the only other runner in the market at $4.20 with Rain Affair a $14 chance.