Spruik young gun All Too Hard is getting closer to their spring debut, the Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes-trained three-year-old ready to pick up right where they left off.
A half-brother to Australia’s favourite racehorse Black Caviar, Casino Prince colt All Too Hard was purchased for a hefty $1.025 million at the 2011 William Inglis & Son Australian Easter Yearling Sales by mining magnate Nathan Tinkler for his Patinack Farm Racing operation.
Hitting the headlines throughout the autumn the expensive yearling began to prove their worth right from the get go and killed the opening to their career winning their first three starts on the trot.
After a successful debut at Flemington in the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) in February, All Too Hard went on to become a Group 2 winner at just their second start with an impressive four length victory over Pronto Pronto in the VRC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) back at Flemington three weeks later.
More Group 2 success was to follow at the end of March when All Too Hard travelled up to Sydney and won the Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill after which they suffered their first, and to date only, loss.
Stepping up to Group 1 company for the ATC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick in April All Too Hard could only manage to finish one and three quarter lengths away second to Gai Waterhouse’s Golden Slipper winner Pierro.
They were sent for a well-earned rest directly after Team Hawkes are now understandably excited to get them back to the track for their next campaign where the “sky’s the limit”.
“There are exciting times ahead,” Michael Hawkes, who co-trains with his father John and brother Wayne, said this week.
“He has untapped potential and potentially the sky’s the limit.
“He’s grown up and more matured.”
The public will get to see for themselves how All Too Hard has come through their spell when they trial at Rosehill Gardens on Friday morning.
They are engaged in the eighth hitout of the morning over 900m and will come up against five Gerald Ryan-trained stablemates headlined by Golden Slipper runner-up Snitzerland.
Exactly where they will resume and what their grand final target will be is yet to be decided, but the All Too Hard is likely to be heading towards a start in the season’s first elite level with the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on September 15.
“We will see how he trials and pulls up, then work it out from there,” Hawkes said.
“He’s nice and sharp, spelled well and has done terrific. He’s come back bigger, brighter, stronger and he’s just a real athlete.
“There are a lot of options for him.
“Dad and Nathan will discuss which path he takes but as has been the case in the past it will be whatever is in the horse’s best interests.”
Snitzerland meanwhile is set to bypass the Golden Rose Stakes.
Ryan has a set spring path mapped out for the progressive daughter of Snitzel starting with the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on August 18, and culminating with the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day during the Melbourne Cup Carnival in November.
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