TOO Darn Hot bids to complete his rapid ascent to the top of the juvenile ranks with victory in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket today.
John Gosden’s colt is bred to be a superstar as a son of Dubawi out of three-times Group One Dar Re Mi, making him a full-brother to a pair of top-class mares in So Mi Dar and Lah Ti Dar.
Too Darn Hot has certainly upheld family honour thus far, making a spectacular debut at Sandown little over two months ago before Group-race triumphs in Sandown’s Solario Stakes and the Champagne Stakes on St Leger day at Doncaster under an animated Frankie Dettori.
He is a red-hot favourite to maintain his unbeaten record this weekend, but Gosden is taking nothing for granted as his charge prepares to test his powers at the highest level for the first time.
Gosden said: “He’s a quick learner and is more precocious than the rest of the family, but it is a big jump.
“He’s a lot like So Mi Dar and he’s got a great turn of foot, but I’m not convinced that he will stay more than a mile and a quarter next year.”
Too Darn Hot’s owner-breeders, Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber, have a policy of keeping the fillies they breed but selling the colts, as evidenced when his brother became the most expensive yearling sold at auction this year when fetching 3.5million guineas at Tattersalls on Wednesday.
The sole Group One winner to date in the field is the Martyn Meade-trained Advertise who will be ridden by Oisin Murphy, the jockey of the season.
Second in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot to the now-sidelined Calyx, the colt struck gold in the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh. Meade said: “It was always the plan to wait for the Dewhurst, I just thought the little break would do him good. I don’t know if he’s going there as the forgotten horse, he certainly hasn’t been forgotten in my book.”
Limato continued his resurgence by successfully defending his crown in the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket.
Henry Candy’s stable star won twice at Group One level in 2016, but his only victory of last season came in this seven-furlong Group Two.
The six-year-old was disappointing in the first half of the current campaign. However, confidence-boosting Listed-race wins at Newmarket and York got his career back on track and he completed his hat-trick in style in the hands of Harry Bentley.
York has been chosen as the venue for one of nine life-sized bronze statues of Lester Piggott being unveiled next year. They will celebrate the 65th anniversary of the first of Piggott’s record nine wins in the Derby.
“Everyone forgets and quite soon everyone may even forget Lester Piggott. This project is to ensure that they don’t,” says racing journalist Brought Scott who is involved with the project.
Top hurdler Maria’s Benefit – victorious at Doncaster last season – made a winning steeplechase debut when previailing at Newton Abbot for jockey Ciaran Gethings and trainer Stuart Edmunds.