All Too Hard: only victory on Saturday will ensure he heads to BritainPICTURE: Getty Images
All Too Hard Ascot trip set to be decided
Preview: Australia, Saturday 7.15am BST (ATR)
Randwick: All Aged Stakes (Group 1) 7f
RETIREMENT or Royal Ascot. That decision will be made on Saturday when All Too Hard (John Hawkes/Dwayne Dunn), the half-brother of Black Caviar, lines up for what is set to be his final start in Australia.
Victory in the All Aged Stakes at Randwick will tee up a daring 10,000-mile journey to Royal Ascot, where his older sister last year won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. All Too Hard would contest the mile-long Queen Anne Stakes.
However, defeat means he will remain in Australia and begin preparing for a career at stud. And, against a top-class field that includes More Joyous and the formerly Sir Michael Stoute-trained Fiorente, victory is far from assured.
Speaking on Australia's RSN radio, Hawkes said: "[More Joyous] is a champion mare. She's going to be hard to beat and mares are extremely well-weighted at weight-for-age.
"We're getting a half-kilo off her and he [All Too Hard] is a three-year-old, but she's peaked in her career. She can't get any better than she's been, albeit she's a champion mare.
"I still feel our bloke can improve that little bit more. It'll be a great race. It is always great to see good horses race each other.
"It's sad there has to be a winner and a loser. I'll still be proud of him whether he wins or loses."
Fiorente, a Group 2 winner for Stoute, has made just one start for his new connections in Australia, finishing second in the Melbourne Cup.
With Saturday's trip less than half the distance of the Cup and five furlongs shorter than his best form in Britain, trainer Gai Waterhouse will fit blinkers and connections believe that headgear will help him cope with the sharp trip.
Also on Saturday
Randwick: Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Group 1) 3yo+, 1m2f
AUSTRALIAN Triple Crown winner It's A Dundeel (Murray Baker/Michael Rodd), regarded by some as Australia's next star racehorse, steps out of three-year-old company for the first time as he faces a field including French Derby winner Reliable Man.
Peter Moody's two-time Group 1 winner Manighar and Silent Achiever, second in the Group 1 BMW earlier this month, are his other main threats.