The autumn buzz was well and truly in the air at Flemington this morning as Caulfield Guineas winner All Too Hard made his presence known with a strong jump-out performance.
It was the latest indication the star half-brother to Black Caviar is nearing his return after a stunning spring campaign where he asserted himself as one of the country’s top gallopers.
“All Too Hard had a jump out at Flemington this morning…Won his heat well…All happy,” the Hawkes Racing twitter account said.
Without being too strenuously challenged by jockey Dwayne Dunn, All Too Hard was strong to the line and clocked 46.80 seconds for the 800-metre workout.
The Casino Price colt’s autumn preparation will step up another gear on Monday when he lines up in a 1000-metre official trial at Werribee.
Where exactly he makes his race-day return hasn’t been confirmed but trainer John Hawkes said last month that Saturday week’s Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield is a possibility.
It is believed he will be set on a path aimed at the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) and he is also nominated for the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and the Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Despite being an outstanding two-year-old, many were quick to write off All Too Hard in the early stages of his three-year-old career after he failed to make an impact in his first three spring starts, all which took place in Sydney.
Clearly more comfortable racing in the Melbourne direction, the big stallion prospect silenced his critics to chase down Pierro and win the Caulfield Guineas before going on to finish second in the Cox Plate.
All Too Hard’s record stands at four wins from nine starts and he boasts a prize pool of nearly $1.5 million.