Trainer David Vandyke will size up a Sydney Autumn campaign for his untapped 2yo filly Hard As following a hollow victory on debut at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.
The daughter of Vinery sire All Too Hard was making her debut in the Hot 91.1 Maiden Plate (1200m) and put 7 lengths on runner-up Mulga Thumper and another 7 on third-placed Samurai Queen. It was the first victory in Australia for Phoenix Thoroughbreds.
“It’s not often I will run a young horse in that going but she’s a readymade racehorse,” Vandyke explained after watching Jeff Lloyd bank his easiest winning percentage of the season. “I will talk to the owners before making a decision but I’m not afraid to take her down for some of those stakes races in Sydney.”
Hard As was a $210,000 buy for Phoenix Thoroughbreds at the 2017 Inglis Easter Sale. She was bred by Neil Werrett and there’s no shortage of 2yo form in the pedigree.
Her dam Oomph (Flying Spur) won a Canterbury nursery on debut and followed up with a close fourth in a Sweet Embraces Stakes Gr.3. And her older half-sister Thump was placed in an Ottowa Stakes LR at Flemington and a Sweet Embrace Gr.3 at Warwick Farm.
“Hard As reminds me of Yankee Rose – not real big but tough and she will only get better.”
Vandyke won a Sydney Sires’ Produce Stakes Gr.1 with Yankee Rose two years ago and she trained on to win a Champion Stakes Gr.1 at Randwick prior to a brave third behind Winx in the champion mare’s second Cox Plate Gr.1.
“I bought an All Too Hard yearling from Vinery at the Gold Coast last month because I knew how well this filly was going,” he revealed. “Every time we’ve ask her lift – she gives us that and more.”
Vandyke targeted the All Too Hard – Here de Jo (Dehere) filly that cost $170,000 at the Magic Millions. She is from a half-sister to Zoometric who won a Perth Stakes LR and was runner-up in a Karrakatta Plate Gr.2.
Oomph has a More Than Ready filly catalogued as Lot 272 at the Inglis Easter Sale on April 10. She has a More Than Ready colt on the ground and was bred back to All Too Hard in November.
All Too Hard has sired the winners of 50 races in Australia this season and his first-crop spearhead Villermont will be gunning for a Group 1 in the Australian Guineas at Flemington next Saturday, March 3 whilst second crop colt Outrageous will head into the Sires Produce a week later.