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All Too Hard brilliant at Randwick
By Mandy Cottell
17:38 AEST Sat Apr 27 2013

All Too Hard underlined his superstar qualities with a brilliant All Aged Stakes victory, almost certainly booking himself a trip to Royal Ascot.

The half brother to Black Caviar went into Saturday's race at Randwick under somewhat of a cloud after a temperature interrupted his autumn, while question marks also remained over whether he was as effective in Sydney as Melbourne.

But the colt silenced his doubters with a spectacular performance to run down leader Rain Affair, which finished second in the Group One All Aged Stakes (1400m) for the second consecutive year.

Winning jockey Dwayne Dunn admitted to feeling under pressure to get the best out of the colt, but it wasn't evident in his thoughtful and patient ride.

"There's a lot of pressure going into these races," he said.

"The owners, they probably feel the butterflies, but I'm the front man to be under pressure, so today I thought was probably my best ride on him.

"Today he had to really try hard to run down Craig (Williams on Rain Affair), so it was a great effort from him and hopefully we might get one more run out of him.

"He's on the way up. He's still got improvement, but I think today you've seen he's a top class horse."

Owner Peter Orton of Vinery Stud was thrilled with the victory and said All Too Hard would "definitely" press on to the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Co-trainer Michael Hawkes was more conservative and said an overseas trip would hinge on how the colt came through Saturday's run.

"The horse comes first. He's got to pull up enormous and then we'll decide," Hawkes said.

"To do what he's done today in pulling out all stops takes a gutsy horse. He's just an absolute athlete, he's a racehorse and he's got a big heart.

"It's been a long road, but he's just an athlete. He's got the family, the pedigree and he kicked some ass."

Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his father John and brother Wayne, said All Too Hard was among the best horses to have come through the stable.

"He's up with the best of them, Lonhro and those horses," he said.

All Too Hard ($2.80 fav) scored by a half-length over Rain Affair ($11) with the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente ($51) an eye catching third.

Fiorente's stablemate More Joyous was a shadow of her former self and beat just one runner home.

In a dramatic aftermath to the race, her owner John Singleton announced he was taking his horses out of the Waterhouse stable.


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