Babylon’s brilliant return at Riccarton

All Too Hard mare Babylon Berlin will be set for a Group 1 campaign this summer following a brilliant first-up victory in the Pegasus Stakes (LR, 1000m) at Riccarton.

Babylon Berlin carved out the feature sprint in a sizzling 56.53s to score by two lengths under Lisa Allpress who was aboard for the first time on Saturday.  “She stood in the gates but is super-fast and quickly accelerated to the lead,” Allpress said.  “We stacked them up and then kicked away.  She’s a willing wee girl.”

Cambridge-based trainer Ben Foote, who didn’t travel to the South Island due to COVID restrictions, indicated the mare will return home for her next start in the Counties Bowl (LR, 1100m) at Te Rapa on November 20.

“The main aim all along has been the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.  She has really come up well and strengthened up considerably this time in and didn’t miss a beat away from home.  She can be bad-tempered but you just have to put up with it because she has so much ability.  And the finished product could be something special.”

Babylon Berlin (4m All Too Hard – You Can’t Sat That by Fusaichi Pegasus) won four times last season and signed off with an odds-on victory in the Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.3, 1200m) at Te Rapa in May.  She is a half-sister to Darci Be Good (Hawkesbury Cup Gr.3) and is raced in partnership by her breeder Scott Williams with Kim Rogers, Sam Beatson, Cedric Foote and Andrew Stuart.

All Too Hard has 68% winning strike-rate in New Zealand and the Riccarton black-type finished another successful week for the Vinery champion.  He sired five winners around Australia on Melbourne Cup Day followed by more good news from Hong Kong on Friday.

His Group 1-winning sprinter Wellington was a comfortable 1050m trial winner at Sha Tin ahead of an intended return in the Jockey Club Sprint (Gr.2, 1200m) on November 21.  The Richard Gibson-trained gelding missed last month’s Premier Bowl due to an off-hind leg issue.

Wellington’s grand-final this year will be the HK24million Longines Hong Kong Sprint (Gr.1, 1200m) on December 12.  “It hasn’t been a smooth preparation but we’re making progress,” Gibson said.  “I have a huge team of people working behind me and I’m grateful for their dedication.”

All Too Hard is standing for a $33,000 (inc GST) service fee at Vinery Stud with payment on live foal.  For bookings or further information, please contact Adam White (0414 800 918) or Harry Roach (0401 970 006).