Stepping out of the giant shadow of Black Caviar. Get ready for a two horse war.

April 14, 2012

There’s no tougher gig in the sporting arena than living up to the family name.

Dawn Fraser’s daughter would have needed fins at birth to match her famous mum.

Bob Fulton’s sons were all handy first graders. But better than one of league’s Immortals? No chance.

The Ablett boys have made a fair fist of it. I’m no expert in their game, but I hear people say Gary Jnr goes close. And doesn’t seem to get into as much strife as Dad.

In the racing game, perfect families are few and far between. For a start, some of our greatest males are left, shall we say, less than manly. Makes it a little difficult to keep the bloodline going.

There’s no guarantee either, for those in the breeding barn still firing live ammo. Champion sons and daughters are rare.

One of the great father/son combinations was Octagonal and his boy Lonhro. Both champions. Trained by the Hawkes family.

They know something winning the big ones, this lot. So who better to be handling Black Caviar’s half-brother?

All Too Hard might just be a superstar. We’ll know more later today, when he goes around as the short-priced favourite in the Sires.

When someone like John Hawkes gets excited, you take notice. He’s been around the block a few times. The bloke would play down a Lotto win as just a nice pick up.

Make no mistake, behind closed doors, he’s doing the old trainer’s version of cartwheels about this youngster.

They’ve been cautious with him. Even side-stepped the millions on offer in the Slipper. How tough would have that been?

It’s all about the horse. That’s how they are. Looking ahead. There is huge money to be made, if he keeps winning, and remains intact.

It sets up a dream encounter this afternoon. All Too Hard v Pierro. Gai’s Slipper winner from last weekend. Tough as old boots. Racing on the pace, with a genius in the saddle.

If we’re lucky, we might get a once-in-a-generation finish. Those clashes that feature in showreels, and trivia nights.

Think back to Bonecrusher, ever so slowly grinding Our Waverley Star into the Mooney Valley turf, in that soul-stirring Cox Plate of 1986.

Get the kids to log you onto YouTube, and dig out the 2002 Yalumba Stakes. You’ll remember it when you see it. Sunline flying up front, only to be reeled in by Lonhro in the shadows of the post. A ride for the ages from a fellow called Beadman. And a call from Greg Miles that still prompts tingles.

We love a two-horse war. And we just might get another one. Don’t stress too much about the result. Just enjoy two young stars, showing us what’s great about the racing game. They’ll both do the family name proud.