Black Caviar and her half-brother All Too Hard dominated Australia’s racing landscape like no other close relations in living memory and their reputations are being recognised at home and abroad.
Black Caviar retired as the world’s top-ranked thoroughbred by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) in April. She was given a 130 rating and All Too Hard was Australia’s next best in at 122. It is no surpirse that the top ranked Australian 3yo on the world stage is also nominated for several awards locally with All Too Hard amongst nominations for the NSW Racehorse Owners Association Sprinter of the Year and 3yo of the year.
While Black Caviar has been confirmed as heading to Exceed and Excel, there’s no shortage of quality mares lined up for All Too Hard at Vinery Stud this year.
Vinery general manager Peter Orton confirmed All Too Hard’s initial book was virtually full when interviewed at the Magic Millions National Sale last month. “He’s the real deal and is the most exciting stallion prospect I’ve seen for many years,” Orton claimed. “He was a super racehorse and his pedigree is perfectly suited to our conditions.”
Bred and reared at Gilgai Farm in Victoria, All Too Hard was a millionaire yearling at the 2011 Inglis Easter Sale and his value sky-rocketed with juvenile victories in the LR Talindert Stakes and G2 VRC Sires’ Produce at Flemington followed by another G2 in the Pago Pago Stakes at Rosehill.
Resuming as a spring three year-old, he sealed a stud career with a G1 triumph in the Caulfield Guineas over Pierro. “This bloke is like Lonhro, he’s in that class,” trainer John Hawkes said a decade after his previous superstar won the Guineas. “He’s a serious horse and always has been.”
All Too Hard finished his 3yo spring campaign with a second placing to Ocean Park in the WFA Championship of Australia, the W.S Cox Plate Gr.1.
Returning to action as an autumn three year-old, All Too Hard emulated Lonhro again when he sailed down the centre of the track to defeat older gallopers in the time-honoured G1 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) in February.
Back at Caulfield a fortnight later, he showed a superior turn-of-foot when storming to a three length victory in the G1 Futurity Stakes (1400m). “I’ve been waiting 20 years to find a horse like him,” jockey Dwayne Dunn said. “He’s one of the best I’ve ridden.”
All Too Hard’s farewell in the G1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in April completed a hat-trick of weight-for-age victories at the elite level. “He missed the Australian Guineas with a temperature but he’s an absolute athlete with a big heart,” Hawkes said after the colt accelerated away from his rivals. “We’re proud to have been part of his career.”
All Too Hard (3c Casino Prince – Helsinge by Desert Sun) bowed out with 7 wins from 12 starts and earnings of $2.28 million. “It was a difficult decision for us to retire a colt with so much more to offer as a racehorse,” Orton said. “But he’s done all we could have asked for and more.
“Our 2013 roster represents the strongest team of stallions ever to stand at Vinery and we believe All Too Hard will take it another level.”