All Too Hard gelding Imperial Lad has earned a Melbourne Cup carnival crack after a front-running victory a Moonee Valley on Friday evening.

Imperial Lad became the second All Too Hard galloper to successfully sign off the Manikato Stakes meeting in as many years following Cuba in 2019.

“We will have to look for a race at Flemington now,” trainer John Moloney said.  “He relaxed in the lead tonight and I was confident when they didn’t take him on.  He’s a happy horse in good order and that makes it three wins in seven starts this prep.”

Imperial Lad won the Rendr Hcp (1500m) by more than two lengths from Silent Sovereign (Dalakhani) sending his earnings past $400,000.  He was sold by Vinery (as agent) for $80,000 at the 2018 Gold Coast Magic Millions.

Winning jockey Linda Meech was happy to make amends after getting beaten at her first ride on the 5yo gelding earlier this month.  “He tricked me at Caulfield,” she said.  “I rang John for another chance and I was on to him tonight.”

Imperial Lad was bred by Noel Penfold from Stammer (Viscount) who won a Seymour maiden in a career limited to five starts for Godolphin trainer Peter Snowden.  She is a half-sister to Scone Cup LR winner Dysphonia (Lonhro).

All Too Hard also has a link with Semillion (Shalaa) who opened Saturday’s Moonee Valley card a winner on debut in the Inglis Banner (RL, 1000m).  He is trained by Team Hawkes and his dam Sistonic (Bel Esprit) is from the immediate family of wonder mare Black Caviar and Vinery stallions All Too Hard and Ole Kirk.

“He’s raced by a couple of the same owners that were in Ole Kirk,” co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said.  “It’s a good story and it’s been a good pedigree for my family.  We were quietly confident and he did a good job to win a $400,000 race on Cox Plate day.”

Ole Kirk leads the Vinery roster at a $55,000 service fee alongside All Too Hard ($33,000), Exceedance ($33,000), Headwater ($16,500), Star Turn ($16,500), Press Statement ($13,750) and Casino Prince ($5,500).  All fees inc GST.  Payment on live foal.

For bookings or further information, please contact Adam White (0414 800 918) or Harry Roach (0401 970 006).