Irrepressible All Too Hard galloper Imperial Lad edged closer to another milestone with a front-running victory in the $100,000 Echuca Cup (1600m) last Sunday.

Part-owner and trainer John Moloney has guided the veteran gelding through a career of ups-and-downs since winning a Cranbourne 3yo maiden in November 2019 and now they’re in sight of a million in the bank.  The Cup’s prizemoney elevated his career stats to 10 wins in 60 starts for prizemoney over $876,000.

Sunday’s pay-day was second only his victory in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Mile at Caulfield in April 2022.  “He’s a happy horse and just keeps turning up,” Moloney has said more than once in winner stalls around city and provincial tracks.

Mature-age apprentice Tayla Childs, 28, said it was a thrill to win with one of her favourites.  “John gave me the call up.  Imperial Lad was a horse I had a lot to do with as a 4kg claimer.  He was on his A-game today, out in front with ears pricked.  Credit to the stable.  I’m just so grateful for the ride and for connections to stick with me in a race like the Echuca Cup.”

Imperial Lad (7g All Too Hard – Stammer by Viscount) was bred by Noel Penfold and sold by Vinery (as agent) for $80,000 at the 2018 Gold Coast Magic Millions.  Stammer is a half-sister to Scone Cup LR winner Dysphonia (Lonhro) and she won a Seymour maiden in a career limited to five starts for Peter Snowden when he was training for Godolphin.

Later on Sunday, Vinery sire All Too Hard was represented by his 15th individual winner in Hong Kong courtesy of Bowser down the straight-course at Sha Tin.  Having his third start for trainer Ricky Yiu, the 3yo gelding lasted long enough to defeat Lucky Symphony (Sioux Nation) by a nose in a busy finish to the Junction Hcp (1000m).

Bowser’s dam Be Happy (Bernardini) descends from Diamond Shower (Zephyr Zip) who was a Group 1 winner at Randwick (AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes) and Flemington (VRC Oaks) for Brian Mayfield-Smithand Jim Cassidy.  All Too Hard’s Hong Kong expats have won a total of 54 races headed by Wellington whose 12 wins included four at Group 1 level before his connections called time on a celebrated career earlier this year.