Too Darn Hot looks Future Champion after scintillating Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket

Too Darn Hot looks Future Champion after scintillating Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket

13/10/2018 at 20:18

Too Darn Hot lived up to its name in stunning fashion by cruising to victory in the big race of day two of Future Champions Meeting at Newmarket, the Darley Dewhurst Stakes.

The aptly-named horse made easy work of the Rowley Mile’s final furlong to maintain his unbeaten record in style over some of the best juvenile colts in Europe.

Such was his superiority, jockey Frankie Dettori was up in the saddle and celebrating within the last 50 yards, however the two and three-quarter length-winning margin tells only half the story.

Rewind a further furlong and a half back though and the eventual outcome was not so stamped on as Too Darn Hot was struggling running downhill into Newmarket’s famous Dip. But as the ground levelled out he found his feet and then a gear change that left the chasing pack reeling.

Group 1 Phoenix Stakes winner Advertise was second with Anthony Van Dyck in third a further length and three-quarters adrift of the runner-up.

The win also surprisingly provided both Dettori and winning trainer John Gosden with a first success in the Group 1 race, less than a week after the pair enjoyed success with Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamps.

Speaking afterwards Dettori said, “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.

“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 added, “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.

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 the class up the hill.”

The two-day Dubai Future Champions Festival – this year across Friday 12 and Saturday 13 October – combines world class two-year-old racing with great entertainment making it the highpoint of The Gold Season at Newmarket Racecourses.

On the track the Darley Dewhurst Stakes, Britain and arguably Europe’s most prestigious race for juvenile horses, is the Group 1 feature race, whilst successful runners usually become key contenders for the following season’s Classics.
The Dettori/Gosden combination also enjoyed success in the penultimate race of the meeting, the British EBF Boadicea Stakes, as Perfection edged the keenly fought six furlong contest.

The joint favourite took the first prize from the 16 runner field by a neck’s margin from Classical Times in second, with Rebel Surge coming a distant third place almost four lengths further back.

Another highlight of Saturday’s meeting was the Dubai £500,000 Cesarewitch Heritage Handicap, the second leg of the historic Autumn Double. Often nicknamed ‘the Grand National of the flat’ and ‘the first race of the jumps season’, the race lived up to its billing as trainer Willie Mullins landed a 1-2 headed by Low Sun.

The County Carlow trainer fielded no fewer than seven runners, and the win was a first at the track for Mullins, and also owner Rich Ricci, while it provided the second leg of a double for the much travelled Seamie Heffernan.

The early exchanges of the 33-runner handicap saw two runaway leaders in the shape of Cliffs Of Dover and Stars Over The Sea.The latter, who had won the Cesarewitch trial at the track last month under similar tactics, folded before the Bushes this time, where the pack also enveloped Cliffs Of Dover, who had brought most of the field towards the stands’ side.

Running down into the Dip, Low Sun grabbed the rail under a determined Heffernan, who went on to hold off the Billy Lee-ridden runner-up Uradel, with Cleonte in third.

That completed a double on the card for Heffernan who took out the day’s opener, the Zetland Stakes, with Norway.

Riding for Aidan O’Brien, Heffernan and Norway came in a length clear of I’ll Have Another in second, with Nate The Great a close third.

The big race on Friday’s first day of the Future Champions Festival was the Fillies Mile and Joseph O’Brien was celebrating another significant milestone with a first Group 1 success thanks to Iridessa.

O’Brien has enjoyed a fairly straightforward move from big-race jockey to big-race trainer with this Group 1 the latest of his captures.

On an afternoon when the wind was whipping across the Rowley Mile to buffet the runners, jockey Wayne Lordan sought cover behind the leaders on Iridessa before coming between favourite Hermosa and Pretty Pollyanna inside the final furlong to forge clear by a length and a half.