Trainer John Thompson is positive Cuba will take a plenty of confidence out of his first win at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
The All Too Hard colt had disappointed as an odds-on favourite over 1500m at Kembla last month and that was the catalyst for a change of plans for the McGrath Estate Agents Plate (1300m). He jumped straight to the front and was always travelling like a winner for the Joy Luck Syndicate and jockey Blake Shinn.
“We sent him back to the trials, freshened him up and brought him back a furlong,” Thompson said. “We also decided to add blinkers and ride him more aggressively. It was a positive plan that got a positive result.”
Fitness-wise, there’s also improvement to come following his first start in nearly six weeks at Warwick Farm. Shinn merely waved the whip as runner-up Higher Ground (So You Think) made up ground in the final furlong to bring the margin back to a short-neck.
“He’s definitely above-average so it’s been a bit frustrating,” Shinn admitted. “He’s a colt and a bit of a thinker. I reckon he might have been taking the mickey before but he got the job done today.”
Cuba’s dam Tabasco Kitten (Redoute’s Choice) won at Hawkesbury and was runner-up at Rosehill in just three starts for the Joy Luck Syndicate. Second-dam La Baraka won The Galaxy-Gr.1 and third-dam Triscay was Australia’s Champion 2YO and 3YO Filly in 1990-91.
There’s no stopping All Too Hard at the top of Australian second-season table with 18 individual winners of 22 races this season. He stands for a $44,000 (inc gst) service fee at Vinery and there’s more winners on the horizon this weekend in Melbourne and Sydney.