A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
While connections are yet to confirm whether or not boom three-year-old All Too Hard will back up in the 2012 Cox Plate Saturday week after their upset Caulfield Guineas win, one thing is for sure, jockey Dwayne Dunn won’t be on their back if they go to Australasia’s weight-for-age championship.
A half-brother to super sprinter Black Caviar, the Nathan Tinkler-owned Casino Prince colt All Too Hard silenced the plethora of doubters that said they were overrated with a class win over the previously undefeated star Pierro in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on the weekend.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Pierro remains the favourite for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 27 at Moonee Valley after connections confirmed they would be pressing ahead despite their first taste of defeat.
“Just remember that the Guineas was his grand final,” John Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his sons Michael & Wayne, said on Sunday.
“That was the race we have wanted all along. You must always appreciate how tough it can be getting a three-year-old colt ready and right for the one day.
“It takes time and patience and above all letting them have the inner confidence on that afternoon to show their best.
“They can be sulky and they can be all sorts of things when they are spring three-year-olds. There’s plenty of distractions.”
Both young colts have just 49.5kg under the standard weight-for-age conditions, a weight that All Too Hard’s regular rider Dunn won’t be able to make, connections possibly forced to look abroad for a replacement.
”Whoever gets the mount will have a great ride if they choose to run the horse,” Dunn said.
Dunn has ridden the galloper for all but one of their eight starts to date, including the Caulfield Guineas upset on 56.5kg.
The Cox Plate ride on Pierro is also up for grabs after Craig Williams gained a release following the colt’s shock Guineas loss.
Williams will instead return to the saddle of the Lloyd Williams-owned Green Moon, $4 equal favourite with Pierro in Cox Plate betting, as a replacement for Damien Oliver who is at the centre of a betting scandal.
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