What Next for 2018 Champion Juvenile Colt Too Darn Hot?
— BloodHorse (@BloodHorse) 11 July 2019
Last year’s champion juvenile colt Too Darn Hot bounced back to form in France for trainer John Gosden and owner Andrew Lloyd-Webber with a comfortable three-length victory in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat.
The decisive way in which this Dubawi colt resumed winning ways at Deauville brought more questions than answers with it. Too Darn Hot is now a perfect four out of four over seven furlongs having also landed the Solario Stakes at Sandown, the Champagne during Doncaster’s St Leger Festival and the Dewhurst at Newmarket as a two-year-old.
While that trip is something of a specialists’ distance, there aren’t that many valuable prizes for connections to aim him at going forward. Instead, it’s a case of going up to a mile or down to sprints.
This is reflected in the early closing entries Too Darn Hot holds. First up in chronological order is the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. It’s a Group 1 over the round mile yet, although an easier track than some he’s raced on, he has also never won a race when tackling a bend.
It could be coincidence. There were certainly excuses for Too Darn Hot when dropped back from 10 furlongs for the Irish 2000 Guineas just nine days after finishing second in the Group 2 Dante at York where his stamina was tested, but it’s a curious stat.
Most bookmakers don’t even have Too Darn Hot as the favourite for the Sussex Stakes. John Gosden stablemate King Of Comedy, who finished three-quarters of a length in front of him in the St James’s Palace at Royal Ascot last time out, is the leading fancy.
Among other potential Goodwood rivals are the Queen Anne Stakes hero Lord Glitters, Lockinge winner Mustashry and the English and Irish 2000 Guineas victors Magna Grecia and Phoenix Of Spain.
Too Darn Hot could also go on to Haydock Park for the Sprint Cup in September. Seemingly undeterred by the Merseyside venue being a specialist track and the drop back to six furlongs, it’s a very eye-catching entry.
The sprint division is looking for a new superstar with Royal Ascot double winner Blue Point retired to stud by Godolphin. Likely Haydock opposition could include Commonwealth Cup victor Advertise and recent July Cup hero Ten Sovereigns, as well as last year’s race winner The Tin Man.
Despite strong opposition from fellow three-year-olds, the latest horse racing tips from Betfair highlight Too Darn Hot is the 7/4 favourite on their sportsbook. That speaks volumes, especially as he’s never raced over so sharp a trip before.
There’s no doubt Too Darn Hot is a speedier type than a stayer. It’s also fair to say based on the way he’s shaped that taking up the Sprint Cup entry is far more likely than going to the Emerald Isle for the Irish Champion Stakes over 10 furlongs a week later.
Connections recognise this too, with Lord Lloyd Webber’s racing manager, Simon Marsh, admitting to the Racing Post: “We got it wrong earlier in the year thinking we could stretch him to a mile and a quarter.”
Too Darn Hot remains a top-class colt and of interest to punters wherever he goes next, and whatever else he achieves in his racing career.