Glamour colt All Too Hard will take his place in Saturday’s Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington backing up just seven days after beating the older horses at weight for age at Caulfield last weekend.
“He’s definitely running. We’ve picked out three races in Melbourne and so far everything has gone to plan,” trainer John Hawkes said.
“He’s come through the run very good. A mile at Flemington at his third run back should be ideal.”
All Too Hard made it two from two this campaign at weight for age and the three year old looks a certainty coming up against his own age in the Guineas.
The Team Hawkes trained All Too Hard beat Group 1 winner Mawingo and Mr Moet in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 9 and followed that up with a dominant display in the Group 1 $500,000 Cathay Pacific Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Hawkes was impressed with the way All Too Hard improved at his second run back and warned that there is still more improvement in the $20 million colt.
“It was one of his best wins. We’ve looked after him as a young horse and hopefully we will now start to reap the rewards,” Hawkes said.
“Some races they can be really dominant and other times they can just get the job done. He just got the job done in the Orr, but yesterday, he went to another level.”
Even though All Too Hard looks to have the Guineas at his mercy, Hawkes is not taking a win for granted, recalling the day his great Octagonal went down in the 1995 Victoria Derby after winning the Cox Plate at his previous start.
“Octagonal won the Cox Plate as a three-year-old then was beaten in the Derby. We’re not taking anything or anyone cheaply,” Hawkes said.
Saturday will be All Too Hard’s last run in Melbourne in the Autumn before he heads to Sydney and Hawkes is not perturbed that the Casino Prince colt has produced his best efforts on Victorian tracks.
Al Too Hard has only won one from five races in Sydney but Hawkes said that it was a mistake when he ran him in the Group 1 $500,000 Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 14 when he finished second to Gai Waterhouse’s champion two year old Pierro.
While Pierro had All Too Hard’s measure in Sydney, Hawkes’ colt was able to turn the tables in Melbourne winning the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 13.
He then beat Pierro home in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27 when the three year olds finished second and third to Kiwi Ocean Park.
“We should never have run him in the Sires. He should have been in the paddock. From there he started learning little habits but we’ve worked them out in the meantime,” Hawkes said.
With Saturday’s Autumn Classic quinella of Super Cool and Fiveandahalfstar unlikely Australian Guineas runners, All Too Hard is currently around the $1.40 mark in early markets.
All Too Hard’s possible Sydney Autumn Carnival targets are the Group 1 $500,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 16, Group 1 $400,000 Daily Telegraph George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on April 6 and the Group 1 $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 20.