They had talked the talk on All Too Hard since day dot but today the true ability of Black Caviar’s younger half-brother was there for everyone to see when the valuable colt got the better of the previously undefeated Pierro in the Caulfield Guineas 2012.
Gai Waterhouse’s triple Group 1 winner Pierro jumped the shortest priced Caulfield Guineas betting favourite in history paying $1.22 but like a number of others like him previously the Lonhro three-year-old failed in their first run at Caulfield Racecourse.
There is set to be some serious reshuffling of the Cox Plate markets ahead of the October 27th clash at Moonee Valley following today’s $1 million Group 1 BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m), Pierro having dominated the markets on Australasia’s weight-for-age championship before today’s shock loss.
All Too Hard meanwhile has been in the headlines since Patinack Farm’s Nathan Tinkler purchased the magnificently bred son of Casino Prince for over $1 million at the 2011 William Inglis and Son Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
They won their opening three starts before going down just under two lengths to Pierro during the autumn in the Group 1 Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) causing a big question mark to be drawn over their true ability.
This time in All Too Hard was disappointing and lost their boom status in the eyes of many when losing their opening three runs as a three-year-old, most recently when fourth in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m).
They bought their A-game to Melbourne today however and were easily the best horse in the Caulfield Guineas 2012, All Too Hard yet to lose a race in Victoria, when they came from last to first to take out the Group 1 trophy.
“He let us down early in this campaign,” jockey Dwayne Dunn said today.
“But off a hot speed gave me a chance to get into the race here.
“I just think he’s only a very young horse mentally, he just takes everything in his stride.
“This was always the grand final, this was his main king pin race, so where they go form here we don’t know.”
It was an ominous sign for Pierro at the jump in the Guineas as they were one of the last away, Ashokan spearing straight across to find the lead early.
Jockey Nash Rawiller struggled to get Pierro into a nice position early with the shortie doing lots of work, thwarted by his rivals in the early stages suffering some interference.
On the straight Ashokan was run down by Pierro who looked like they were going to steal the show when they went to the front.
But with 200-metres left to travel All Too Hard started to make their move and in a thrilling dash for the winners’ post got the better of the spruik horse in the race.
On the line All Too Hard had half a length to spare over the odds-on favourite while Peter Snowden’s Golden Rose winner Epaulette finished off the winning Caulfield Guineas trifecta a further one and three quarter lengths away third.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes was one of the few not surprised by All Too Hard’s Caulfield Guineas win, but he was still very impressed with just how tough the horse proved to be when it counted today.
“If you watch the replay with 800 metres to go he was back last,” Hawkes said.
“He’s a serious horse he always has been.
“It’s a pretty good effort to beat Pierro because he goes okay.”
Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his great father John and brother Wayne, went on to say All Too Hard was probably the best horse he had ever touched and rated them in the class of Pierro’s famed sire Lonhro.
“This bloke’s like Pierro’s day Lonhro, he is in that class,” he said.
“He just does it too easy, he’s just got so much ability this horse.”
Asked whether he thought the turnaround of form was due to getting back to Melbourne Hawkes shrugged off the suggestion and said that All Too Hard won the Guineas because because they wanted to.
“He wanted to do it today, it’s as simple as that,” he said.
“People are going to say it’s the Melbourne thing but I don’t think so.
“He’s won three form three down here but that’s not it, he’s a colt, he jumped cleanly today.
“It was a big, big run.”
It was a fantastic result for connections too who are grooming them for a valuable career at stud to help repay some of that hefty purchase price.
“Winning the Caulfield Guineas is what you want when you’re trying to make a stallion and we couldn’t have asked for more,” Patinack Farm stable rep Peter Beer said.
There is a chance All Too Hard will now progress onto the 2012 Cox Plate in a fortnight where they are sure to meet up with Pierro again.
“Are we going there are we?” Hawkes said when asked about the Cox Plate.
“Sounds alright to me!”
Check out the complete 2012 Caulfield Guineas results, margins and finishing order in the table below.
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2012 Caulfield Guineas Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Guineas Day Race 7 – 13/10/2012
|1||3||ALL TOO HARD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||–||3||56.5kg||$12|
|2||1||PIERRO||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||0.5L||7||56.5kg||$1.22F|
|3||2||EPAULETTE||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||2.25L||6||56.5kg||$12|
|4||7||AWESOME BRO (NZ)||Leon Corstens||Craig Williams||6.75L||2||56.5kg||$19|
|5||5||ROAD TRIPPIN||Stephen Theodore||Ben Melham||13.75L||5||56.5kg||$151|
|6||4||ASHOKAN||John O’Shea||James McDonald||13.95L||8||56.5kg||$81|
|7||8||LET GO LENNI||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||14.25L||1||56.5kg||$41|
|8||6||CARRINGBUSH JACK||Leon Corstens||Jake Noonan (a)||14.35L||4||56.5kg||$101|