Racing: Colt's future uncertain after sale

Sydney trainer John Hawkes. Photo / Getty Images
Sydney trainer John Hawkes. Photo / Getty Images

Sydney trainer John Hawkes is keeping an open mind on whether All Too Hard will run overseas next year.

The Caulfield Guineas winner is in pre-training but plans for the colt are up in the air after Saturday's ownership change.

Nathan Tinkler's financial woes forced him to sell All Too Hard, his most prized thoroughbred asset, along with stallion Onemorenomore and his Patinack Farm Hunter Valley breeding property to Vinery Stud's Gerry Harvey and Neil Werrett for a reported A$25 million, reports the Herald Sun.

All Too Hard's new owners are due to meet Hawkes this week to determine the colt's autumn programme.

Werrett, part-owner of All Too Hard's half sister Black Caviar, gave a hint of what he is thinking when he said there were plans to "shuttle All Too Hard when he does become a stallion, so we will be looking at an overseas stud for him to stand".

Hawkes said he had not determined an autumn campaign for All Too Hard, or whether the colt would be set for England's Royal Ascot meeting in June.

"We just want to see how All Too Hard goes when he gets back into the stable," said Hawkes, who trains him in partnership with sons Wayne and Michael. "I'm not worrying about overseas at the moment. Those things will look after themselves."

All Too Hard has not raced since his brave half-length second to Ocean Park in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 27.

Hawkes said he had inspected All Too Hard recently and reported that he was "a bit stronger and more mature".

"He's in pre-training and will come back into the stable soon."

Tinkler will be very disappointed at having to sell All Too Hard but his financial circumstances are so dire he had no other option.

It was only two months ago that Tinkler said he had no intention of selling All Too Hard. "I haven't won so many group one races that I am content to give them up.

"I've been waiting a long time to get one to come along as good as this colt."

His Patinack Farm has been reducing its racing and breeding interests from more than 1700 thoroughbreds to about 900.

Tinkler is understood to be in debt to Gerry Harvey after the owner of the Magic Millions company extended a A$20 million-plus debt to the mining investor.

He also is said to owe A$1 million to Vinery Stud in service fees for his mares.

He is said to owe at least 17 creditors, including the Australian Taxation Office, which is understood to be seeking A$3.8 million.

If he fails to meet the February deadline, his Hunter Sports Group, which owns the Newcastle Jets A-League team and Newcastle Knights league club, could be wound up.

- NZ Herald

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