Gator grabs Group 1 for All Too Hard

Alligator Blood notched a Group 1 first for Vinery champion All Too Hard in the $1 million Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.

The Queensland raider had been denied a Group 1 in the Caulfield Guineas during the spring carnival but he returned south to put the record straight on an afternoon to remember at headquarters.

All Too Hard was also represented by two new stakes winners on Saturday to take his overall record to 15 individual black-type winners.  He’s embedded in the Australian Top 10 this season for winners (82), wins (118) and prizemoney ($7.34 million).

Alligator Blood (3g All Too Hard – Lake Superior by Encosta de Lago) took up his customary role in the lead before spacing his rivals under Ryan Maloney.  “He just exploded,” jubilant trainer David Vandyke said.  “You could see his stride change.  He was dominant.

“He’s incredible and just keeps lifting.  He’s had a race or a trial every month since July and then has the audacity to put in a career-best performance today.  Where is the ceiling for him?”

Alligator Blood will go some way to answering that question in the $5 million All-Star Mile at Caulfield on March 14.  “He’s so special,” Vandyke continued.  “He’s doing it for Queensland.  He’s doing it for the owners and Ryan.  And he’s doing it for All Too Hard.”

The Baramul Stud-bred superstar was purchased by Allan Endresz for $55,000 at the 2018 Gold Coast Magic Millions and his only defeat in 11 starts was that nose decision in the Caulfield Guineas.

Vandyke confirmed Endresz had knocked back numerous off-shore offers for Alligator Blood.  “His future is here in Australia and long-term we looking at the ($14 million) Everest and ($7.5 million) Golden Eagle in the spring.

“We haven’t taken a slot at this stage but Allan is having negotiations and I will leave it up to him to talk about slots and opportunities.”

Earlier on Saturday, Hard Rock Girl became the 14th stakes winner by All Too Hard in the Cinderella Stakes LR at Morphettville.  The Byron Cozamanis-prepared youngster was coming off a Moonee Valley victory and was a class above the competition in Adelaide.

“Cozy told me to hunt up and get to the front,” winning jockey Dean Holland reported.  “She dictated and skipped off the bend with a good lead into the straight.  She wandered about late but was too good for them.”

Rock of Fortune (2f All Too Hard – Rock of Fortune by Fastnet Rock) was bred by Kia Ora Stud and Vinery partner Steve McCann and they kept a share after she made $125,000 at the 2019 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

She is a full-sister to her Caulfield winning stablemate Rock Hard and a half-sister to Hong Kong winner Patch Baby (More Than Ready).

Dawn Dawn then made it 15 stakes winners for All Too Hard in the Guy Walter Stakes Gr 2 at Randwick.  She led home a Vinery quinella when reeling in Sweet Deal (Casino Prince) to score by a short half-head.

“She had no luck at her first two starts this prep and I told Tommy (Berry) to settle back and let her get balanced because she will do the rest,” co-trainer Michael Hawkes revealed.  “Now she’s a live chance for the Group 1 Coolmore.”

The $1 million Coolmore Legacy Stakes Gr.1 over 1600m will be run at Randwick on April 11.

Dawn Dawn is a homebred for Rob & Pam Crosby who operate the award-winning Kansas Angus cattle stud in Boggabri.  They bought her dam Dawned (One Cool Cat) at a Patinack Farm dispersal for $45,000.

All Too Hard has 11 yearlings entered for this week’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale and another 11 for the Adelaide Magic Millions starting on March 10.