Spell check for Nolen and Nolan

That it took four starts to win her maiden was the most surprising aspect of Hardly Surprising’s victory at Kilmore on Thursday.

The progressive filly by Vinery sire All Too Hard had been runner-up at all three starts prior to her breakthrough in the Wallan & Kilmore Community Bank Hcp (1612m).  She gave Luke Nolen the run of the race, one off the fence behind front-runner Biancommand, before taking over on the home-turn.

Left in front a long way out, Hardly Surprising was headed by Tricky Mix at the furlong but fought back to regain the lead for a three-quarter length victory.  “She travelled nicely into the race although I would have liked company for another furlong,” Nolen explained.  “She lost sight of them with blinkers on for the first time so I had to keep her mind on the job.

“She has a bright future but I don’t know deeper she will go into this prep before a spell.  She will eventually get up to 2000m and that will only enhance her value at stud.”

Hardly Surprising was bred by Raheen Stud’s Basil Nolan and is a half-sister to Weinholt (Stratum).  He has won 6 races and was last seen finishing third in the Sunshine Coast Cup LR on Saturday.

Their dam Annemarie (Elusive Quality) won for Nolan at Sandown when part of the Lindsay Park team and she is a three-quarter sister to Bullbars who is making a name at stud in New Zealand.

Gilgai Farm owner Rick Jamieson, who bred All Too Hard and his older half-sister Black Caviar, bought Hardly Surprising for $250,000 at the 2016 Gold Coast Magic Millions.

Jamieson also paid $225,000 for All Too Hard colt See It Thru on behalf of a partnership at the same sale.  He has been given time to mature by trainer Mick Kent and, although still unraced, was among latest nominations for the Australian Guineas Gr.1 at Flemington on March 3.

See It Thru’s younger brother Sir Kalahad won on debut at Sale last week.

All Too Hard has Ballarat winner Messerschmitt lining up in the Inglis 2YO Premier RL this Saturday.  He has opened up a $4 second-favourite for the $250,000 sales-related feature race at Caulfield.

And in New Zealand, All Too Hard’s Kiwi colt Demonetization is back on track for the NZ Derby after missing an intended start at Pukekohe last Friday.  He was on the easy list after getting cast in his box but will be back in action at Te Rapa next week ahead of the Avondale Guineas Gr.2 and NZ Derby Gr.1.