The field may be small for Saturday’s Group 1 2013 All Aged Stakes (1400m) but make no mistake, it is not lacking any quality.
Heading the field is superstar colt All Too Hard who is racing for the first time since February when he claimed consecutive Group 1s in the Futurity Stakes and the CF Orr Stakes.
While the three-year-old has made headlines in Melbourne, All Too Hard is yet to assert his dominance in Sydney.
Saturday will be his final chance as he will then head to Royal Ascot before a career at stud beckons.
Trainer John Hawkes said his charge is in good order ahead of this weekend’s challenge.
“We’re pleased with him, it will be good to see him back on Saturday,” Hawkes said.
A star-studded line up will be out to ensure it will be no easy task for All Too Hard.
Likley to jostle for favouritism with the half-brother to Black Caviar is More Joyous who was second to Pierro first-up in the Canterbury Stakes before being blocked for a run in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained mare is one of Sydney’s best performed horses, having won eight times at Group 1 level in her 21 victories from 32 starts.
Three-year-old colt Epaulette may not have the profile of All Too Hard but he has an impressive resume.
Only missing a place once from nine starts, the Darley-owned galloper won the Golden Rose in the spring and resumed in the TJ Smith to run second to Black Caviar.
Others contesting the All Aged Stakes include Joe Pride’s front-runner Rain Affair, Melbourne Cup runner-up Fiorente and Chris Waller-trained veteran Rangirangdoo.
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All Aged Stakes 2013 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||2604x4202x||RANGIRANGDOO (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||8||59kg||115|
|2||2x6261x42x||FIORENTE (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||5||59kg||111|
|3||6122x48x44||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||Craig Williams||4||59kg||110|
|4||30911378×5||ROLLING PIN (NZ)||Gwenda Markwell||Christian Reith||3||59kg||106|
|5||0x85049x42||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Mick Price||Brenton Avdulla||2||59kg||102|
|6||11x1140x25||MORE JOYOUS (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||1||57kg||124|
|7||x35412x11x||ALL TOO HARD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||7||56.5kg||114|
|8||120x3113x2||EPAULETTE||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||6||56.5kg||109|