Outstanding colt All Too Hard affirmed his status as the highest rated three-year-old in Australasia with a stunning win the Futurity Stakes over 1400m.
The half brother to world champion sprinter Black Caviar stepped out of his big sister’s shadow to announce his arrival on the global racing scene in his own right.
Some paundits were disappointed with his narrow win first up in the weightforage C F Orr Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) at Caulfield a fortnight back where he defeated older horses Mawingo (Tertullian)  and Mr Moet (Mosayter) . But it was clear after the victory that trainers Team Hawkes were quite relieved believing their high profile horse was vulnerable that day and would take plenty of improvement from the race.
Saturday’s emphatic victory again against the older opponents in the Futurity Stakes certainly proved that, All Too Hard becoming the first three-year-old to complete the Orr – Futurity Stakes double since another Hawkes-trained horse Yell (Anabaa) back in 2003 and the first to win the treble of the Guineas, Orr, Futurity since the great Manikato.
Unlike the Orr Stakes where race rider Dwayne Dunn was forced to ride him back off the pace from a wide barrier, on this occasion drawn more favourably All Too Hard jumped on terms with the field and Dunn wisely eased him back to midfield after 400m.
It was clear approaching the turn that All Too Hard was travelling comfortably. Once produced soon after he showed good acceleration to put the issue beyond doubt coasting home over three lengths clear of Glass Harmonium (Verglas)  and King Mufhasa (Pentire) .
In assessing the merit of the performance, All Too Hard was found to have run to a new master figure of 128+, eclipsing his previous best of 127 achieved when runner up to Ocean Park (Thorn Park)  in the 2012 Cox Plate (Gr 1, 2040m).
This figure is around three pounds higher than the five year average winning Timeform rating for the Futurity Stakes but exactly on the expected value calculated using historical race standardisation techniques.
The rating also placed All Too Hard in rare territory for a three-yearold in the autumn. In recent times the only other of that age group to reach that level have been Sepoy  and Weekend Hussler (Hussonet) , who like All Too Hard achieved those ratings beating older horses at weight for age in the Manikato Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) and George Ryder Stakes (Gr 1, 1500m) respectively.
No doubt All Too Hard has the potential to improve again on his 128 figure, but it is doubtful if he will have to run anywhere near that figure next week in the Australian Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) against his own age group at level weights.
All Too Hard joins a long list of outstanding three-year-olds to have won the Futurity Stakes including the great Manikato (Manihi) in 1979, Rubiton (Century) in 1987 and Zeditave (The Judge) in 1989.
A 128 Timeform rating would win the George Ryder but he may have to find more (which he is capable of doing) to win the Queen Anne Stakes (Gr 1, 1m) at Royal Ascot.
The Champion Frankel (Galileo) won the race last year with a rating of 147 but normally a rating of around 130 is a safe figure to ensure victory. All Too Hard should be able to reach that level.
Data provided by Timeform & Racing and Sports, from 1 August 2012 – 23 February