Too Darn Hot cemented his place at the head of the betting on next year’s 2000 Guineas and Derby as he ran out a most stylish winner of the Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.
Trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori, Too Darn Hot was sent of the 4-11 favourite in what was billed as a head-to-head with impressive Vintage Stakes winner Dark Vision.
Dettori was content to settle his mount through the early stages as Bye Bye Hong Kong was virtually running away with David Probert, and only Seamie Heffernan went with him on Cardini.
Dark Vision raced alongside Too Darn Hot in the early exchanges, but when Dettori started to take a stronger hold with around three furlongs still to run, the writing was on the wall for the former and Mark Johnston’s colt dropped away tamely.
Too Darn Hot really started to lengthen out and once he got rolling, the son of Dubawi made up the deficit with Cardini in effortless style, triumphing by a comfortable length and three-quarters from Phoenix Of Spain at the line.
Gosden said: “He was very impressive and it took Frankie a long time to pull him up. He and Seamie went past the Leger start and up to Rose Hill.
“It’s a long way to gallop out after a seven-furlong two-year-old race. Maybe they were trying to find out if they’ll stay middle-distances next year!”
He added: “I’m happy with him and he did everything right. He quickened up from a long way back – he’s a young, talented horse.”
“He’s in the three Group Ones in October and there’ll be no decision (on which one he runs in) for 10 days.”
Dettori said: “That was very special. What he did between the three and the one blew me away.
“I guess the next step is a Group One, but he is very talented. When you run him on a flat track you can really feel his gears. He’s learning how to race and everything he did today was amazing.”
Asked whether he felt Too Darn Hot was a Guineas or Derby horse, Dettori added: “We’ll take it one step at a time. We’re only learning about him.”