Derby hope Too Darn Hot puts Classic claims on the line in Solario
188Bet Solario Stakes (Group 3) | 7f | 2yo colts | ITV4/RUK
John Gosden chooses a race he has captured with two of the best horses he has trained, and in which Derby winner Masar announced himself last year, to test the Classic potential of impressive maiden winner Too Darn Hot.
Of his three former winners, two became champions – Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic winner Raven's Pass and Irish 2,000 Guineas, St James's Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes and Prix Jacques le Marois winner Kingman.
And there is anticipation Too Darn Hot could become another after a scintillating seven-length winning debut from a colt who is a brother of top fillies So Mi Dar and Lah Ti Dar, owned and bred by composer Lord Lloyd Webber, and already prominent in the betting for next year's Qipco 2,000 Guineas.
He must overcome what could be a stern examination, with the colt meeting Dunkerron and Confiding – second and third in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood – and unbeaten Chesham Stakes winner Arthur Kitt.
Lloyd Webber's racing manager, Simon Marsh, said: "He has done very well since he ran at Sandown. It's a good race with horses like the Chesham winner in there, and hopefully he'll run well.
"He has run only once and hasn't got the experience that other runners have, but he's a nice horse. We'll learn a lot more about him from this race and we can make a plan from there."
Dunkerron and Confiding finished a length and a quarter apart at Goodwood. Dunkerron is having his sixth start, which jockey Martin Harley hopes will give him an advantage over the favourite.
"The John Gosden horse was impressive on debut but mine has more racecourse experience and hopefully that will count on the day," he said. "I wouldn't swap him for anything else in the race."
Martyn Meade, trainer of Confiding, is also optimistic. He said: "Goodwood really wasn't a true reflection of his ability. He lost a bit of his action coming down the hill. It took him time to get his act together due to bit of greenness and/or weakness.
"Since then he has strengthened up and hopefully you'll see a better horse tomorrow. The track and trip will suit him well."
Arthur Kitt delivered an emotional Royal Ascot victory for his owner-breeder Andrew Black and has had a break since.
"He's a Camelot who happened to be ready to run right at the beginning of the season," said trainer Tom Dascombe. "The intention was to win the Chesham, then give him a break and bring him back for the autumn.
"Andrew Black's Chasemore Farm is right next to Sandown so this seemed a logical place to go.
"We absolutely believed he would win his maiden and the Chesham, and now we're jumping in with the big boys. I couldn't tell you he's going to win it, but I can guarantee he won't go down without a fight."
Further depth is provided by Watan and Victory Command, winner of four of his seven starts. Watan was second in the Acomb Stakes at York last week and is a real favourite of trainer Richard Hannon.
"I thought he got beat in a messy race last time," he said. "He has a lot of natural ability and could end up very smart. We’ve done nothing with him since the Acomb and he arrives here in great form."
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