New connections of likely 2013 CF Orr Stakes betting favourite for this weekend All Too Hard are feeling the pressure of the boom colt’s debut run for them after Vinery Stud Stallions acquired the Caulfield Guineas winner as part of a $25 million package from embattled mining magnate Nathan Tinkler.
A $1.025 million yearling buy from the 2011 Inglis Australian Easter Sales Casino Prince colt All Too Hard has been in the headlines before a debut run was even being thought about being a half-brother to the world’s best sprinter Black Caviar.
They won their opening three career starts on the trot including two Group 2 events before going down to Gai Waterhouse’s subsequent Golden Slipper champ Pierro in the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes in Sydney.
After a four month stint on the sidelines All Too Hard came back for the spring but questions started to be asked of their true ability after they failed to win their first three starts the second time in.
Finally they silenced the critics with a smart win over Pierro in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in October before backing up a fortnight later to run a brave second to Ocean Park in the prestigious Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
This Saturday they return to racing at Caulfield Racecourse eyeing a second Group 1 prize in the $400,000 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) looking to repeat the winning effort of their famous older sibling Black Caviar who recorded her 18th straight career win in last year’s CF Orr.
While they are likely to jump favourite in the bookmaker.com.au markets it won’t be a walk in the park with other notable nominees including Mick Price’s undefeated Callanish, Doomben Cup winner Mawingo and multiple elite level champ in New Zealand King Mufhasa.
“We appreciate he’s up against older horses and he’s going to be vulnerable first-up,” Vinery Stud’s Peter Orton said.
“It’s not a situation where we have to win every race.”
Connections at Vinery Stud are certainly eager for the horse to run in their colours for the first time but admit there’s a huge amount of stress associated with being involved with a horse with as high a profile as All Too Hard.
“It’s a bit daunting actually,” Orton said.
“He’s already shown himself to be a wonderful horse, and it’s exciting to think what he can do for us.
“But expectations with a horse like him are so high, it makes it a bit nerve-racking.”
Still the signs are positive for a winning return from the youngster after they impressed with a winning hitout at Flemington last Friday.
All Too Hard’s other possible Melbourne Festival of Racing targets include the $500,000 Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Day, February 23, and the $600,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse on March 2.
They are already dominating the Australian Guineas futures odds at a short $3.40.
Orton said that after the autumn in Australia an international campaign was being considered for All Too Hard which could prove a goldmine in regards to his value at stud which, with his current record, already stands at about $50,000 to $60,000 a pop.
“That’s the mark recently retired horses like So You Think and Sepoy have been retired at,” Orton said of the $50,000 stud fee.
“This horse has proven himself to a similar level, but for mine, has a more appealing pedigree.
“His pedigree fits so many good horses. He’s from a great Australian family, he has wonderful physical attributes and he’s going to have great support behind him.
“Obviously his value would increase appreciably if he could win an international race, and we certainly want to look at going overseas.
“It would have to be a situation where we have nothing to lose, because logistically it’s a high-risk activity.
“The Queen Anne is the obvious race, because at Ascot you need a horse that can run a mile and a quarter (2000m).
“If he’s showing himself to be a bit sharper, then the Golden Jubilee would be another option.”
The CF Orr Stakes 2013 final field and barrier draw is due for release on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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