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Toppling Pierro, Not Too Hard

An awkward gate, untidy start and herculian performance were enough to create the imposssible at Caulfield on Saturday...upset Pierro! All Too Hard took advantage of the circumstances, doing what no other horse has been able to do in 9 starts, and battled strongly past the superstar to win the $1 million Caulifeld Guineas by half a length.

Bookies and punters alike expected the 3 year old Group 1 race to be a mere formality, as Pierro started at $1.20, the shortest favourite in race history.

Despite doing a lot of work early to get into a good spot, Pierro loomed up around the final turn and seemed to have the race under control. Epaulette and All Too Hard started to join in up the straight, but it looked like Pierro was about to step up a gear and pull away for yet another commanding victory.

Things don't always follow the script however, and All Too Hard kept closing, eventually overtaking the favourite to claim an unlikely, but deserved, victory. Epaulette finished a couple of lengths back in third place, with the rest of the field 7 or more lengths behind the winner.

caulfield guineas 2012 finish

All Too Hard's co-trainer Wayne Hawkes who was full of confidence in the ability of his colt leading up to the race, jokingly played down the win. "It was a pretty good effort to beat Pierro because he goes okay". 

"He's probably the best I've touched [trained]", Hawkes said. "This bloke's like Pierros' dad Lohnro. He is in that class this horse....he's got so much ability this horse".

After an exciting Autumn campaign as a 2 year old in which he won three Group 2's and came second in the Group 1 Sires Produce, All Too Hard's Spring had been below expectations. Third in the San Damenico and fifth in the Run to the Rose  saw people question his true ability at the top level.

"He probably let us down early in this campaign but he was here and he delivered today", jockey Dwayne Dunn said after the race.

"He's a very young horse mentally, he takes everything in his stride, it's probably all happening a little too soon for him...This was always the grand final, his king pin race".

All Too Hard may now have a new Grand Final with the Cox Plate now a serious possibility for Team Hawkes. He's already been instilled as a $7.50 fourth favourite for the big Weight For Age race in a fortnight.

Despite the loss, Pierro is still a short price favourite for the Cox at $2.80, with Ocean Park and Green Moon both at $6.