All Too Hard, younger half brother of Black Caviar and Australia's top-rated 3-year-old colt, stormed from the back of the field to win the C. F. Orr Stakes (Aus-I) Feb. 9 at Caulfield.
Making his first start since a runner-up finish by a neck in the Sportingbet W. S. Cox Plate (Aus-I) and first for new owner Vinery Stud, the Casino Prince colt rallied down the center of the track to win by a half-length, defeating group I winners Mawingo, Mr. Moet, Wall Street, and King Musfhasa.
All Too Hard was ridden by Dwayne Dunn and covered 1,400 meters (about seven furlongs) in 1:22.83 on a good track as the 2.30-1 favorite in the nine-horse field.
"The last thing I said [to Dwayne] was, 'You're on the best horse so ride him like it," said Wayne Hawkes, who trains All Too Hard along with his brother, Michael, and father, John. The team previously won the C. F. Orr with Yell (2003) and with Lonhro (2004), Australia's 2004 Horse of the Year, who stands stud in Central Kentucky for Darley.
"He's not screwed down yet," Hawkes said of All Too Hard, who won his second race at the top level to improve to five victories, two seconds, and a third from 10 career starts. "He's got a fair way to go."
Following his win over champion Pierro in the Caulfield Guineas (Aus-I) on Oct. 13, All Too Hard looked en route to victory in the Cox Plate two weeks later after taking the lead a furlong out, but Ocean Park wore him down in the closing strides to prevail.
Vinery subsequently bought the half brother to sensational undefeated sprinter Black Caviar, winner of last year's C. F. Orr, from financially beleaguered Norman Tinkler's Patinack Farm and hopes to see him race at in June at Royal Ascot, where Black Caviar scored a dramatic win in the 2012 Diamond Jubilee (Eng-I).
First up for All Too Hard, however, could be the Australian Guineas (Aus-I) on Mar. 3 at Flemington.
"We're looking to race him here and, if all goes well, then take him to England, to Ascot, if possible," Vinery Stud manager Peter Orton told Racing Victoria earlier this week.
"There's the Queen Anne (Eng-I), but you've also got the Golden Jubilee (Eng-I) over 1,200 (meters, about six furlongs). That's a tough race; there's a rise three times, and you have to have a bit of stamina. But the Queen Anne over a mile is ideal for him and there are a couple of other nice races for him in France."
All Too Hard was co-rated the world's top 3-year-old miler of 2012 by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, alongside Camelot and Variety Club.
Hawkes Racing bought All Too Hard, who is out of the Desert Sun mare Helsinge, on behalf of Patinack Racing for $1,025,000 Australian at the 2011 Inglis Easter yearling sale.
"Black Caviar has put that family on the map and she's known all over the world and this is a half brother to her, so he's got great interest and great potential for overseas farms," Orton said. "If he was to go over there (Royal Ascot) and add to his record, it will just increase the value of the horse, which would be a great thing."