All Too Hard’s Singapore star Hard Too Think has captured his second Group 1 this year with a decisive victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1800m) at Kranji.
Saturday’s win followed his Group 1 Singapore Derby (1800m) triumph in July and there’s a Group 1 grand-final in sight with Horse of the Year ramifications in the Singapore Gold Cup (2000m) on November 14.
Hard Too Think was given a ground-saving ride by French jockey Marc Lerner and they collared Katak (SAf) at the furlong to score by a half-length. “I’ve had many happy days but this has to be one of the best,” part-owner and trainer Stephen Gray said. “I just hope he doesn’t get too heavily penalised for the Gold Cup.”
Gray, who moved from New Zealand to Singapore in 2000, is also contemplating an international Group 1 target for Hard Too Think in the Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin on December 12.
“I knew they would go slow upfront today and that my horse would be able to get across,” Gray said. “He got a beautiful ride from Marc and was just too good. He’s really improved both physically and mentally since the Derby.”
Vinery champion All Too Hard has built a 72% winning strike-rate in Singapore. His star Aussie expat was bred by Gerry Harvey from Hussonet mare Mnemonic and made $45,000 through the Baramul Stud draft at the 2018 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale.
“I bought him at the Gold Coast and sent him to New Zealand,” Gray recalled. “I syndicated him as a yearling although there weren’t many people on board at first. He’s genuine and I like horses who try hard so we’ve really looked after him.”
Mnemonic’s All Too Hard 3yo Far Too Easy won two juveniles at Grafton in June-July and the mare foaled another All Too Hard colt last November before a late-season cover to Star Turn.
Earlier on Saturday, Gray and New Zealand’s Copperbelt Racing won the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m) with Exceed And Excel 4yo Oxley Road. He is a younger brother of Vinery stallion Exceedance.
All Too Hard stands at Vinery for a $33,000 service fee alongside Ole Kirk ($55,000), Exceedance ($33,000), Headwater ($16,500), Star Turn ($16,500), Press Statement ($13,750) and Casino Prince ($5,500). All fees inc GST and are payable on live foal.
For bookings or further information, please contact Adam White (0414 800 918) or Harry Roach (0401 970 006).