Hong Kong trainer Richard Gibson has ambitious long-term plans for his unbeaten All Too Hard galloper Wellington.
The 2021 Hong Kong Derby Gr.1 is still twelve months away but Wellington put his name forward a half-hour before Golden Sixty (Medaglia D’Oro) won this year’s classic over 2000m at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Wellington was several classes above his rivals in the Luger Hcp (1200m). He has drawn wide gates in all three starts and was forced to do it the hard way from the back half for Zac Purton who took over from Alexis Badel.
“Wow! That was arrogant,” Sky Channel caller Mark McNamara cried. “He was in cruise-control at the 300m and Zac hasn’t moved. He jogged up.”
Vinery Champion All Too Hard sired his latest rising star from More Than Ready mare Mihiri who won at Randwick for Team Hawkes prior to a Group 2 placing in the 2015 Breeders’ Classic at Rosehill. Her yearling is a colt from the first crop of Vinery sire Star Turn.
Wellington was bred by Kia Ora Stud, David Paradice and Vinery partner Steve McCann and sold for $70,000 at the 2018 Gold Coast Magic Millions.
“Today was the first time I thought he presented like a man in the paddock,” Gibson said on Sunday. “He looked immature before his first two starts but is beginning to fill out his frame now.
“He shares a similar profile with Golden Sixty but there’s a lot of water to go under the bridge before the 2021 Derby. I will only run him run more time this season. He will pick up the Champion Griffin award and then we can think about next year.”
Hopes of another classic for All Too Hard were put on hold this week when the South African Derby Gr.1 was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was scheduled for April 4 but racing in that jurisdiction has been shut down for three weeks as from this Friday.
Mike De Kock’s talented 3yo Frosted Gold was runner-up in the Gautang Guineas Gr.2 when resuming in February and was doing his best work at the finish of the South African Classic Gr.1 at Turffontein on March 7.
Frosted Gold was conceived at Vinery when All Too Hard covered French-bred mare Mary D’Or (Verglas) who is a sister to Prix Jean Prat Gr.1 winner Stormy River.