High profile colt All Too Hard is the standout of the thirty-nine nominations for the Group 1 $500,000 Kirks Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben on May 18.
But a start in the 2000m weight for age Winter Carnival feature is most unlikely with a Royal Ascot trip being strongly considered by owners Vinery Stud and the rest of the ownership team.
All Too Hard is set to stand his first stud season at Vinery in the Hunter Valley this Spring for a fee of $66,000 and will be in high demand after winning his fourth Group 1 at Randwick last Saturday with a dominant win in the $400,000 Yarraman Park All Aged Stakes (1400m).
A decision to travel to England will be made in the next couple of days and if connections choose to run in the Group 1 £250,000 The Queen Anne Stakes (1 mile) at Royal Ascot on June 18, a Winter Carnival visit is out of the question.
“We’ll make up our mind at the end of the week,” said John Hawkes who trains the glamour three year old in partnership with his sons Michael and Wayne.
“We’ve just got to sort it out. We have to decide as we have to put things in place.”
Leading Melbourne trainer Peter Moody is looking to go one better than last year and has entered Lights Of Heaven and Manighar again after the pair finished second and third behind the Anthony Freedman trained Mawingo.
Lights Of Heaven was back in the winner’s stall last start with a comfortable win in the Group 3 $125,000 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on April 6 and is ready for another successful Winter Carnival.
After being runner up in the Doomben Cup last year, Lights Of Heaven went on to win the Group 2 $250,000 Al Basti Equiworld Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) and the Group 2 $300,000 Australian Special Metals Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm.
Moody has also entered imports Lidari, who has had one run in Australia for a second over 1600m at Flemington in April and Voila Ici who has failed to impress at two runs since an unsuccessful Caulfield and Melbourne Cups campaign last Spring.
Ranvet Stakes winner Foreteller heads Chris Waller’s seven nominations with Gai Waterhouse’s only entry being three year old Hippopus.
Leading Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote’s only chance of winning his first Doomben Cup lies with his Toorak Handicap winner Solzhenitsyn who kicks off his Winter Carnival campaign in the Group 2 $358,000 Wimmers Soft Drinks A. D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast this Saturday.