Hot stuff! Too Darn Hot 7-4 for Guineas after Dewhurst strike
Never mind a race for the ages, the Darley Dewhurst Stakes may well have produced the horse of a lifetime as Too Darn Hot singed the Rowley Mile’s final furlong to maintain his unbeaten record in showbiz style.
Such was his superiority over some of the best juvenile colts in Europe, big-race rider Frankie Dettori was up in the saddle and celebrating within the last 50 yards, yet the two and three-quarter length-winning margin back to Group 1 Phoenix Stakes winner Advertise tells only half the story.
Indeed, just a furlong and a half before Dettori’s celebrations, Too Darn Hot was struggling running downhill into the hollow of Newmarket’s famous Dip. But as the ground levelled out he first found his feet and then a gear change that left the audience buzzing with pleasure.
Incredibly, his eye-watering success provided both Dettori and winning trainer John Gosden with a first success in the race, and there was no question from either they were dealing with something out of the ordinary.
"He got himself a little bit unbalanced coming down the hill but once the turbo kicked in I went from being a length behind a furlong out to pulling clear," said Dettori.
"I celebrated because he was going so fast and thought there was no way anyone could get near him. He’s a great little horse and I love him."
Gosden, too, spoke of the uncomfortable moment heading into the Dip but was ultimately left singing the praises of the latest superstar performance of a stellar season for the trainer.
"Frankie had to cover him up, which he did beautifully but on the fast ground and on those ridges running into the Dip, he was not comfortable at all," relived the trainer. "But as soon as he came out of the Dip and met the rising ground he had the class to overcome it.
"I had misgivings about even running because it’s firm and he wants good ground, but he showed his class up the hill."
The winner was cut to a general 6-4 (from 7-2) for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas with Betway standing out at 7-4 and his price at the head of next year’s Investec Derby market was shaved a point to 3-1. Yet, not for the first time, Gosden highlighted speed over stamina as his strongest weapon.
"He’s blessed with an awful lot of speed and it would be lovely to come back here for the Guineas," said the trainer. "His mother got a mile and a half and his father was a phenomenal miler and, at this stage, he seems to be taking more after his father.
"He showed zip there over seven but I think a mile to a mile and a quarter would be within his range."
It was the second time in the space of a four days the progeny of Dubawi and Dar Re Mi had created some theatre in Newmarket, with Too Darn Hot’s yearling brother selling for 3.5 million guineas at Tattersalls on Wednesday.
The youngster's new connections will no doubt have taken pleasure from his sibling's success, but when it comes to valuable commodities Too Darn Hot is a priceless possession after his latest success.
"He seems to have this amazing change of gear that when he’s asked he just seems to go for it – god I wish some of my performers did that!" said on-song impresario and owner-breeder Andrew Lloyd-Webber.
"Joking apart, he’s one of those extraordinary things. Madeleine never keeps the colts but he had this minor injury so we could certainly never have sold him and no-one knew if he would get remotely near a racecourse.
"I saw him just after he’d been broken and everyone was saying he’s exceptional. I don’t know anything about it but he did look pretty good to me and now look – today’s pretty great."
Thanks to Too Darn Hot, it was a pleasure indeed.
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com