DO you reckon Nathan Tinkler, the former owner of All Too Hard, was watching and cheering somewhere as the super colt increased his value to over $50 million by blitzing the field in the Orr Stakes?
All Too Hard was sold in a package deal of horses and property by Tinkler for a reputed $10 million to $25 million. That seems chump change now.
It took just one run - and one win in the group 1 Orr Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday - and Black Caviar's relation is now probably the most valuable horse in the southern hemisphere.
Put any figure you like on All Too Hard as not even a blank cheque would buy him now.
Tinkler sent a text to trainer John Hawkes to congratulate him on the win and say how excited he was by the effort.
But surely there was more than a tinge of regret from Tinkler to have let such a super colt slip through his fingers.
The effort of All Too Hard against older opposition still may have some wondering how good he is.
But one thing is for sure: he is a Melbourne champion.
Despite what trainer John Hawkes says, the facts are All Too Hard has been beaten only once the Melbourne way of going, and that was a great second in the Cox Plate.
He still has to prove himself in Sydney going the opposite way, despite winning last year's Pago Pago Stakes .
■ While All Too Hard got all the plaudits, the runner-up in the Orr Stakes, Mawingo, was simply outstanding.
Owned by Newcastle syndicators Australian Bloodstock, Mawingo powered to the line.
On that first-up effort another group 1 is just around the corner for Novocastrians Jamie Lovett, Luke Murrell and their big crew of owners.
■ Sydney trainer Peter Snowden is playing a very strong Blue Diamond hand with his youngsters.
But Snowden and Darley have far from a stacked deck.
Sure, it is fair to say that Gulph looked way above average again when she won the fillies' division of the Blue Diamond Prelude at Caulfield on Saturday.
She beat stablemate Montsegur, which also did a good job.
Snowden also won the boys' heat with Kuroshio, but he looks likely to miss the Blue Diamond and concentrate on Sydney racing.
Throw in Metastasio, which Snowden also trains, and it is easy to see why he is so looking forward to the big juvenile group 1 in a fortnight.
But waiting in the wings for Snowden's mob is the unbeaten South Australian Miracles Of Life, which still appears as good as anything.
Also there is Thermal Current, from the Peter Moody yard, which was a tragedy beaten last start.
All of a sudden the Blue Diamond looks a real race.
■ The votes for the NJC board election will be counted on Friday.
Only four of the 13 who are standing will be left alive.
Hopefully one priority the new board will have is to get a sponsor for the group 3 Newcastle Newmarket on Wednesday, March 20.
The $125,000 feature over 1400m is without naming rights after Nathan Tinkler's Patinack Farm pulled out of sponsorship for the race as well as the Cameron Handicap and Tibbie Stakes later in the year.
■ One rumour sweeping racing is that a successful trainer is to take legal action against the club and track where he prepares his horses.
The trainer, who has had some good group horses over time, has a serious illness.
If the case of lack of duty of care did eventuate, it could have serious implications for the club involved and racing in this state.
■ Prominent owner and Port Stephens mayor Bruce MacKenzie has another couple of promising Oakfield horses on his hands.
All of MacKenzie's horses have Oakfield in their names.
On Saturday, Oakfield Rebel brought off a strong plunge when winning a 900m maiden at Broadmeadow.
Stablemate Oakfield Invader is not far from winning judging on his second in a 1300m maiden.
■ Strong Gosford galloper Frozen Rope came from last to finish fourth in the last race at Warwick Farm on Saturday over 1600m.
Start putting money away to be on him when he backs up in Sydney on Saturday then runs in the Parramatta Cup a fortnight later.
■ Newcastle apprentice Blake Spriggs is out of hospital but will not ride for at least three months after breaking his ankle in a barrier trial in Sydney.
Spriggs had a 4½-hour operation to insert five screws and a plate on the inside of his left ankle.
Two more screws and a plate were inserted into the outside of the ankle in the operation on Thursday.
In true racing tradition, Spriggs, 21, took a tip from a fellow rider to hopefully ensure a quick recovery.
"I rang Nash Rawiller and asked him who his surgeon was," Spriggs said. "Nash also broke an ankle and he told me of the sports surgeon that was in charge of his operation.
"The specialist has told me that when the cast and then boot comes off it will take me overall about three months before I can start riding again."
■ Newcastle's star sprinter Atomic Force kicks off his campaign aimed at another group 1 Galaxy this morning.
Atomic Force will trial at Broadmeadow, and the long-term aim for the injury-hit galloper is another attempt at the Galaxy in Sydney.
■ Unfortunately the racing caper is just not the same these days.
In the old days, disgruntled punters would have ripped the grandstand down after the form reversal of Havana Rey at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
He went from looking like a hobbled duck beaten out of sight last start when beaten 20 lengths in last place, to scoring easily.
OK, so the trainer, Bjorn Baker, was mystified by the massive improvement.
But is that it, simple, the trainer has no clue so that is the end of the section?
The stipes asked questions, of course, but what about the punters?
Yes, indeed, what about the punters who did their cash cold last time when Havana Rey was a short-priced favourite and just could not back up again on this animal?
■ Kris Lees seems to have a strong team of imports.
The star of the overseas brigade now stabled at Broadmeadow is Award Season, which has won at Muswellbrook, Warwick Farm and Canterbury and will run on Wednesday in the $350,000 Mornington Cup over 2400m if he makes the field.
On Saturday, Lees produced Hathras, which came third over 1500m at Newcastle. The former German galloper, which is magnificent to the eye, hit the line hard and will be winning over more ground very shortly.
Today, Lees has ex-French galloper Pirate Bay trialling at Broadmeadow.
Pirate Bay, which came to Australia much later than the other pair , has already been specked at huge odds in the Doncaster.
■ Gosford's promising two-year-old Napayshini turned in a brilliant gallop in a hit-out between races on his home track yesterday.
Napayshini, which came from last to finish second to All The Talk at Warwick Farm at his only start, worked on the course proper, breaking 34 seconds for his final 600m.
Napayshini will resume in Sydney on Saturday.
Star sprinter Hay List (Glyn Schofield) worked with Australian Star Brenton Avdullah) in another gallop down the back straight yesterday.
Both Schofield and trainer McNair were happy with the effort and he is on track to run in Sydney in the autumn.