Melbourne Cup winning jockey Chris Munce is in the box seat to take the ride on All Too Hard if Teams Hawkes decide to pursue a weight for age campaign for the rest of the Spring.
Munce is one of only a handful of senior lightweight riders who would be able to ride at 50.5kg, the weight that All Too Hard would get as a three year old colt in the WFA Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 22.
Team Hawkes had to find a replacement for regular rider Dwayne Dunn who would have no hope getting down to the lightweight and Munce flew to Sydney to get a feel of the glamour Casino Prince colt when he ran second to Torio’s Quest in a 1200m Warwick Farm barrier trial today.
“He trialled well, I thought,” Munce said.
If Team Hawkes is able to get All Too Hard to compete successfully at Group 1 level in two weeks time with Munce aboard, the big race jockey would then be in line to claim the mount in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27 where the three year old will only carry 49.5kg.
“We wanted to see how he trialled today, see where he’s at and see how he pulls up, then decide where we go,” co-trainer Michael Hawkes said.
But Team Hawkes will be concentrating on getting All Too Hard back into the winner’s list and building up his value as a potential stallion for Patinack Farm after a slow start to Spring.
All Too Hard was disappointing first up as a short priced favourite when third to Snitzerland in the Group 3 $125,000 Smithfield RSL Club San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on August 18 and then missed a place behind Pierro when fifth in the Group 3 $125,000 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill two weeks ago.
Team Hawkes had to rethink All Too Hard’s Spring program and after originally being set for the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill tomorrow, decided that a step up in distance was needed to get the three year old back on track.
Patinack Farm chief executive Peter Beer announced that All Too Hard would miss the Golden Rose and head towards the 1600m of the George Main Stakes.
“I think John Hawkes and Michael up here in Sydney just felt as though he needed to get to a mile,” Beer said.
“With the three-week break it’s just probably ideal to more than likely go to the George Main.”
“That’s not set in stone but a race like that would be something we would probably look at.”
Even though Patinack Farm withdrew All Too Hard from the Golden Rose, the huge racing operation will still saddle up the favourite of the $1m three year old race, the undefeated filly Nechita from the John Thompson stable.
Nechita, to be ridden by in form jockey Christian Reith, is at the top for the Golden Rose market at $2.35, ahead of the Gai Waterhouse trained Kabayan at $4 with Anthony Cummings’ Your Song at $8.