It’s a massive climb from a Class 1 at Kembla to a Group 1 at Randwick but All Too Soon can bridge that gap for David Payne and his long-time client John Cordina.
The All Too Hard filly resumed from a spell on Tuesday and launched her autumn campaign with a narrow victory over Unbridled Power (Snitzel) and Gaytime Girl (Pluck) in the Hull F C Hcp (1400m).
All Too Soon had won an 1800m maiden at Randwick in November that prompted Payne to make long-range plans for the $1 million Australian Oaks Gr.1 on April 14. “Her hocks were a little bit weak last preparation so we gave her a month off. She’s picked up nicely now and I like her a lot.
“She wants further so we will get her out to 2000 metres against the fillies and then decide whether to head to the Australian Oaks. There are plenty of other options if the distance is on the far side for her.”
Payne trained her dam Gallant Tess and she was among the early covers in the first book that Vinery lined up for All Too Hard in 2013. The Australian-bred Galileo mare won five races including the Chelmsford Stakes Gr.2, however, she ran frustrating Group 1 placings in the Epsom Hcp, George Main Stakes, Chipping Norton Stakes, Coolmore Classic and Champagne Stakes.
All Too Soon looked short of a run on Tuesday and she was also good enough to counter an on-pace bias at Kembla. “There’s a lot to like about her,” jockey Tye Angland said. “I was concerned when we settled well back from the wide gate but she got a good drag into the race and was just too strong.
“There’s lots of improvement in this filly – she’s very exciting.”
Payne and Cordina are in the enviable position of also having Ace High heading for a classic double in the $2 million Australian Derby Gr.1 on April 7. The High Chaparral colt won a Kembla maiden before graduating to Group 1 victories in the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick and Victoria Derby at Flemington.
Last start Sandown Guineas Gr.2 winner Villermont is another All Too Hard colt pursuing a Group 1 program at the autumn carnivals. He will use the Autumn Stakes Gr.2 at Caulfield this Saturday as a stepping-stone towards the Australian Guineas and Rosehill Guineas.