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Guineas favourite Too Darn Hot named as champion two-year-old

23 Jan 2019

The John Gosden-trained colt proved himself the best two-year-old in Europe since Frankel shared top honours with Dream Ahead in 2010.

Too Darn Hot’s exploits last season included victory in the Dewhurst Stakes. Picture: Steven Cargill/Racingfotos.com

Too Darn Hot was  today announced the European Champion Two-Year-Old of 2018.

The John Gosden-trained colt, expected to be a leading light in this year’s QIPCO British Champions Series, was awarded a rating of 126 as the European Two-Year-Old Classifications were announced.

The son of Dubawi proved himself the best two-year-old in Europe since Frankel shared top honours with Dream Ahead on the same rating in 2010. There has been no juvenile rated higher since Xaar in 1997.

Frankel went on to win nine Champions Series races in his glittering career, while Dream Ahead was a superb winner of the Darley July Cup and also landed the Sprint Cup.

Last year was strong at the top of the two-year-old tree with no fewer than six horses rated at 118 or above.

Those ratings came from strung-out finishes to the best three races; the Darley Dewhurst Stakes, Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes and the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes.

The BHA’s Lead two-year-old Handicapper Graeme Smith said: “Too Darn Hot confirmed himself an outstanding juvenile in the Dewhurst where he put some strong form lines firmly in the shade.

“The last three two-year-olds rated at his level went on to win 15 Group 1s between them, and in what promises to be an above-average Classic crop he already sets a lofty standard with the potential of better still.”

Too Darn Hot is the general 6-4 favourite for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 4 – the first race in this year’s Champions Series.

John Gosden has enjoyed huge success with three-year-olds and upwards in recent years but Too Darn Hot is just his second champion juvenile, following on from Oasis Dream in 2002.

This year Gosden has two juveniles in the top 10, with his Coventry-winner Calyx achieving a rating as high as 115 despite having his season limited to just two races within 11 days in June.

The leading juvenile filly of 2018 was also housed in Newmarket in the shape of Pretty Pollyanna.