The stars are aligning for Vinery freshman All Too Hard and it would be fitting if his first winner arrived in the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) at Flemington this Saturday.
All Too Hard launched his career with a superior turn of foot in the 2012 edition of the Talindert Stakes but was overshadowed – like every other horse that day – by his older half-sister Black Caviar who stretched her unbeaten record to 19 in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes.
Fast-forward five years and All Too Hard is assembling a formidable autumn team with four colts in the Talindert Stakes – Groundbreak, Domination, All Too Royal & Sustained Decision.
Groundbreak looked an early winner when runner-up on debut at Rosehill in November. He motored home from last on the turn to get within a length of Veranillo and the winner franked the form in the Listed Lonhro Plate at Randwick last week.
Team Hawkes trained All Too Hard and purchased 10 yearlings by him at the 2016 majors. Groundbreak cost them $175,000 at the Inglis Easter Sale and is the first foal of Listed Adelaide Guineas winner Booklet (Tale of the Cat).
Domination started favourite first-up last month and will improve off a midfield finish at Ballarat. He was a $260,000 buy for Tony McEvoy at the Gold Coast Magic Millions.
“He was going to be our first 2yo starter of the season but went shinny,” stable foreman Mick Shepherdson said. “He’s a quality colt and has been competitive at home against horses that have already hit the board.”
Domination’s dam Attunga Rose is a half-sister to South African Group 1 winner Fighting Warrior and Vinery sold her Mossman colt for $170,000 at the Inglis Classic Sale last Sunday.
All Too Royal finished on even terms with Domination at Ballarat and will also strip fitter for the experience. Vinery bought him back into the fold for $270,000 at the Inglis Easter Sale when offered by Goldin Farms. His dam Bel Mer raced in Vinery’s colours to a Group 1 victory in the Robert Sangster Stakes.
Sustained Decision makes his debut in stakes company and did everything right in a recent jump-out at Caulfield. Trainer John Sadler bought him for $150,000 on behalf of owner Eddie Hirsch at the Gold Coast Magic Millions. His dam No Evidence Needed (Shamardal) was a Group 2 winner of the Light Fingers Stakes at Flemington.
All Too Hard also has the Gai Waterhouse – Adrian Bott trained filly Mystic Empire running in the G2 Silver Slipper Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday. She put the writing on the wall with a close second in the G3 Widden Stakes last month.
Mystic Empire was a $140,000 buy for Darby Racing at the Gold Coast Magic Millions and is from a half-sister to G1 AJC Oaks winner Royal Descent. “She’s talented and very professional,” Waterhouse said after the pleasing first-up effort. “I’m expecting more improvement both physically and mentally.”