All Too Hard (yellow cap): an impressive winner at Randwick on SaturdayPICTURE: Getty Images
Hard heads to Ascot
after All Aged triumph
Report: Australia, Saturday
Randwick: All Aged Stakes (Group 1) 7f, 2yo+
ALL TOO HARD (John Hawkes/Dwayne Dunn) waved goodbye to his fans in his homeland with a terrific stretch run to catch frontrunning Rain Affair and set up an ambitious tilt at the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The three-year-old's future hung on the result of the All Aged Stakes with defeat likely to result in Black Caviar's little half-brother heading straight to stud.
Tucked in behind the well-fancied More Joyous as Rain Affair led the field along, All Too Hard travelled well in the hands of jockey Dwayne Dunn before he eased him out to challenge at the top of the home straight.
The response was not instant as Dunn said 'go' with just under two furlongs to run and All Too Hard briefly looked like he would be swamped by other finishers.
However, not to be outdone by Black Caviar, who won what proved to be her final race here two weeks ago, All Too Hard found a stunning change of gear to catch Rain Affair in the final half a furlong.
Peter Orton, general manager of co-owner Vinery Stud, told the Herald Sun: "We always thought he was the real deal and he certainly proved it today. He is just the most magnificent looking animal and a really classy racehorse.
"We didn't need to be here today, he's got nothing to prove but you don't duck and dive from these things, it was just great to see him get his return and yes, we will definitely be on our way to England."
Rain Affair held on for second with the ex-Sir Michael Stoute-trained Fiorente running on for third. More Joyous, a multiple Group 1 winner, was well beaten on what proved to be her final start for trainer Gai Waterhouse.
Outspoken owner John Singleton, who offered to put up A$1million last year to get Frankel to race in Australia as "our weather's better and the prize-money's better" and knocked back the idea of running in the Queen Anne as "you've got to dress up and the prize-money is £250,000. The Pommies must think we're absolute mugs", blamed a "conflict of interest" as the reason for moving More Joyous.
"I was going to have a hundred grand on today - the horse shouldn't have run," he told Racing World Australia. "When [Gai Waterhouse's] own son, who's a bookmaker, saying she's got problems I don't know about the conflict of interest is too big. My horses are leaving Gai tomorrow."