Top Australian 3-year-old All Too Hard confirmed at Caulfield on Saturday there may be only one horse in Australia better than him - and that's his sister.
Which means there are very few in the world who rate more highly.
In his first start since finishing second in the Cox Plate last October, All Too Hard defied the pattern of racing and some handy opposition to win the group one CF Orr Stakes (1400m) and take the first step on a path that could end up in Europe's best races.
"There's probably not much he couldn't do," said co-trainer Wayne Hawkes. "He's as good as there is going around."
By winning the Orr, All Too Hard also completed a rare double by winning a race his half-sister Black Caviar won last year.
However, unlike the world champion mare who captured the Orr Stakes with brilliant speed, All Too Hard ($2.30 fav) came from near-last, rounding up the leaders 100m from the line and then holding off Mawingo ($16) to win by a half length.
West Australian stayer Mr Moet ($13) ran third a further head away.
"He's worth a lot of money," Hawkes said. "We knew how good he was, but when they're as valuable as he is, it's a relief when they prove it."
Vinery manager Peter Orton, who stitched together the acquisition of All Too Hard, reflected the trainer's emotions.
"It's a huge relief," Orton said.
New Zealander King Mufhasa set a moderate pace on a day when leaders appeared to be favoured. He faded to sixth.
To accommodate his Sydney programme, All Too Hard is now likely to have his final run in Melbourne for all-time in the Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 23.
All Too Hard's Sydney programme is yet be confirmed, but is likely to include the Randwick Guineas at Warwick Farm on March 16.
-AAPBy Mike Hedge