Too Darn Hot concluded a flawless juvenile campaign in suitably compelling style here on Saturday, finishing almost three lengths in front of a strong field for the Dewhurst Stakes and with Frankie Dettori able to raise his whip in celebration 100 yards from the line. John Gosden’s colt is now a 6-4 chance to win the 2,000 Guineas over an extra furlong next spring and if there is a horse to beat him in the Classic on 4 May, the betting suggests it will not be one of the five that finished behind him here.
This was seen beforehand as one of the strongest renewals of the Dewhurst for some years, with two runners with solid Group One form – Advertise and Anthony Van Dyck – in the field alongside Too Darn Hot and Sangarius, unbeaten in three and two races respectively.
As such, the bare form of the even-money favourite’s victory was impressive enough, but he also overcame a little hesitancy as he ran into the Dip a couple of furlongs from home before being switched right to sweep past Advertise and Anthony Van Dyck, who had enjoyed a perfect tow into the race from the front-running Christmas.
Remarkably, this was a first success in the Dewhurst for both Dettori and Gosden, though the jockey’s father, Gianfranco, rode Wollow to victory for Sir Henry Cecil 43 years ago.
“My dad won in ’75 and I’ve been trying for 30 years and now I’ve put it to bed eventually,” Dettori said. “We can dream next year, he has done everything we’ve asked and he’s bred in the purple. We’re going to have a very sleepless winter.
“When I switched him out, he took 100 yards to get organised, a bit like he did at Sandown, but it was a great response once he got himself organised. For a minute, I thought I was in trouble, but then the turbo kicked in.”
Gosden felt that the firm ground on the Rowley Mile might have contributed to Too Darn Hot becoming a little unbalanced in the Dip, and has no concerns about his colt acting on the track in the Guineas next year.
“He is a fabulous two-year-old and if he is in good form ahead of the Guineas, we will go for it,” Gosden said. “He wasn’t happy on the ground running into the Dip and you could see he was a little unbalanced, but when Frankie got him to meet the rising ground, he just flew.”
Advertise was also a little uncertain going into the Dip and will be trained towards a rematch with Too Darn Hot in the Classic next spring by his trainer, Martyn Meade.
The most significant opponent for the ante-post favourite next May, however, could yet prove to be the only other horse to beat Advertise this year: Calyx, the Coventry Stakes winner, who is also stabled in the Gosden yard.
2.00 Jam Session 2.35 Miss Elsa 3.10 With Envy 3.45 Mister Chiang 4.20 Midi (nap) 4.55 Bernardo O’Reilly 5.30 Sing Out Loud
2.15 Quel Destin 2.50 Minella Awards 3.25 Secret Investor 4.00 Exitas 4.35 Ballymoy (nb) 5.10 Art Mauresque 5.40 Ask Dillon
“He’s in great form and just trotting and playing about at the moment [after suffering an injury earlier this season],” Gosden said. “It would be wonderful if they could [meet in the Guineas], Calyx seems very sound and happy now so let’s hope he comes back.”
Too Darn Hot is also top-priced at around 4-1 for next year’s Derby, though Gosden is not convinced that the son of Dubawi will stay beyond 10 furlongs at three, while Persian King, who took the Autumn Stakes for André Fabre earlier on the card, is 20-1 to win the Epsom Classic.
Willie Mullins enjoyed one of the biggest pay days of his career as Low Sun and Uradel finished first and second in the £500,000 Cesarewitch Handicap, winning a total of £399,950 for Ireland’s champion trainer over jumps. Only Hedgehunter’s win in the 2005 Grand National and Blackstairmountain’s success in the Nakayama Grand Jump in Japan in 2013 have earned Mullins more in a single race.
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