New kids on the Champions Series block: Too Darn Hot
27 Dec 2018
This week we turn our attention to the unbeaten colt who is ante-post favourite for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and Investec Derby.
Too Darn Hot and Frankie Dettori before landing the Darley Dewhurst Stakes. Picture: Steven Cargill/Racingfotos.com
Horse: TOO DARN HOT
Form: 1111. Trainer: John Gosden
Champion trainer John Gosden bid farewell to two outstanding colts at the end of the 2018 season in Cracksman and Roaring Lion.
The two outstanding colts, responsible for eight Group 1 wins (six of them in Champions Series races), will leave a void at Clarehaven but Gosden will not lack for firepower in 2019.
Enable and Stradivarius are among his outstanding older horses staying in training and he also has a raft of exciting two-year-olds coming through the ranks.
Chief among them is the exciting Too Darn Hot, who emerged as the champion of his generation and heads the ante-post betting for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and Investec Derby.
He won his four races by an aggregate of more than 15 lengths – stepping up in class on each occasion and each time proving more than equal to the task under Frankie Dettori.
A son of Dubawi, out of Dar Re Mi, Too Darn Hot is a brother of two class acts in So Mi Dar and Lah Ti Dar. Like that pair, he is owned by Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber.
His pedigree no doubt contributed him going off 8/11 favourite for his debut in a mile maiden at Sandown in August. At home on the good to soft going, he was much too good for his four rivals and won by seven lengths.
Three weeks later he returned to Sandown for the Group 3 Solario Stakes and, despite dropping to 7f, was similarly impressive in thumping Arthur Kitt, the Chesham Stakes winner, by four lengths.
Just a fortnight later he took his chance in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and, despite some strong opposition, went off at 4/11 favourite. He swept through from off a strong pace to beat Phoenix Of Spain, the Acomb winner, by a length and three quarters.
If any further proof was needed that Too Darn Hot was capable of burning off strong opposition then it came in the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October.
His six rivals included three other exciting colts in Anthony Van Dyck, Advertise and Sangarius, plus he was encountering fastish ground for the first time in his career.
Running into the Dip, the Evens favourite hung left and briefly looked vulnerable, but it was a case of the further the better. He was very strong at the finish and won going away by almost three lengths from Advertise, who had won the Group 1 National Stakes on his previous start.
There is no reason to think Too Darn Hot will not train on, and he is rightly a short price to give Gosden a first Guineas triumph.
Will he stay a mile and a half? His running style and pedigree offers encouragement.