THE fierce rivalry between glamour colts Pierro and All Too Hard (pictured) continues at stud with the pair neck and neck for First Season Sire honours – reports The Sportsman.

With 24-days remaining in the 2016/17 season, Pierro has the advantage leading All Too Hard by about $130,000 in progeny earnings.  The All Too Hard camp is not giving up hope thanks to an incredible late season surge from their four-times Group 1 winner.

All Too Hard’s tally of Australasian first crop two-year-old winners has reached nine, just one less than Widden’s Your Song on 10 and 4 more than Pierro.

“These things do mean a lot to the market so we are mindful that it would be a good result but he’s been so unlucky,” Vinery boss Peter Orton says.

“He’s had 20 other individual placegetters and all close finishes.”  This is certainly true as All Too Hard progeny have featured in 9 photo finishes and only got the judges decision in one – that was to Curdled in a Stakes race so was certainly the one to get.

He certainly deserves to be up there, he’s getting the runners and getting  he winners up now – we’ve got another month to go so we will see what happens.”

All Too Hard’s barnstorming finish to the season was in contrast to early on where he couldn’t buy a winner.

No one in the Vinery inner-circle were ever panicking though, confident that “time” was on their side.

“All Too Hard was a genuine three year- old,” says Orton.

“He came into maturity as a three year- old, it was just his pure brilliance that allowed him to perform so well as a two-year-old.

“Anyone who has anything to do with his stock just loves working with them because they are very relaxed horses that eat well and work  well.  There was that temptation to keep them in (training) early. I think he had about 15 runners before Christmas which was ridiculous to think of when this horse is going to be a sire of late two-yearolds and three-years-olds, more your sprinter/milers.

“I think he is going to be in for a fabulous three-year-old year and I wouldn’t mind betting now that owners and trainers have got to know the stock a bit better that they will just give them that little bit more time so that their actual core strength can be there to perform,” Orton said.