Even the very best get it wrong from time to time and after admitting to his own mistakes, John Gosden saw his continued faith in Too Darn Hot vindicated in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
A troubled spring together with some knee-jerk decisions had led to last year’s unbeaten champion two-year-old having his reputation put on the line, before it was partially restored when getting back on track with victory in the Prix Jean Prat.
With his ability to truly get a mile still under scrutiny, the son of Dubawi answered that question in the manner of a horse with more big days at the top still ahead of him in the Group One prize – a win which the Newmarket handler put entirely down to the horse.
Gosden said: “I think we have been so open that we have missed the Greenham and the Guineas and it is sad, but he did. He threw a splint and we couldn’t train him.
“We got it completely wrong running in the Dante, and that is not his trip, an extended mile and a quarter. We rushed him back to Ireland nine days later and it was stupid and wrong. The horse has fortunately overcome both his manager and his trainer.
“We got it wrong, but the horse has come right now. It is wonderful to have him back and we will see where we go, but he has proven being champion two-year-old last year was no fluke.
“I think this win was very important from the view point that he was a champion two-year-old.
“I suppose Aidan (O’Brien) had Circus Maximus’ (runner-up) trip wrong running in the Derby, so we all make mistakes.”
He went on: “To me the great races are the Sussex, the Jacques le Marois and the QEII – the all-age Group Ones.
“Of course the St James’s Palace is a wonderful race, but it is great to come here and win the all-age race.”
Too Darn Hot will not be seen next year, however.
Gosden said: “I don’t think he will be remaining in training next year. When you have been champion two-year-old and have won two Group Ones this year, with hopefully more to come, I think he has done his job.
“It was rather the same with Kingman and Roaring Lion. Their commercial value becomes so great because of their speed and being champion two-year-old, and that takes over.
“Winning the Sussex is hugely important for the horse and gets a rather large monkey off our backs.”
Certain riders excel on the big occasion more than others and in Frankie Dettori the Newmarket handler knows he has arguably the best in the business – one he hopes to celebrate more big-race success with for a few more years to come.
Gosden said: “He’s riding exceptionally well and riding with great confidence.
“Frankie was saying to me just there, ‘this responsibility is too much’, and I said to him, ‘I tell you what’s bad for you, to sit in that weighing room and not have a ride. You’re a showman and you love being here’.
“After Enable’s race he was exhausted. We were all bottomed out emotionally and he, of course, physically.
“He’s not a kid anymore, and if we can keep him going to the right meetings we might get a few more years out of the old boy yet.”
Having got their partnership back on track in France, Dettori knew another big display was just around the corner.
The irrepressible 48-year-old said: “He has been very unlucky for all the obvious reasons. We had a good run at this and his home work had been good.
“I think putting his head in front in France did him the world of good. It was a case of getting him to settle and I got him to settle and he showed what he can do.
“He has finally got a proper Group One in this country and he is back to where his reputation should be. He has a lot of pace and a Breeders’ Cup Mile would be idea, with a fast two turns. I am sure that it could be the end-of-season target.
“I’m delighted for the horse and Clarehaven, Lord and Lady Webber and John, who is a genius of a trainer.
For some in the weighing room it may be a summer to forget, but for Dettori it is one he hopes will never end, with his latest top-level triumph being his 11th since the end of May.
He said: “If you look at the list of Group Ones that I’ve won, they are absolutely amazing, mammoth races. King Georges, Eclipses and Ascot Gold Cups. They are proper Group Ones.
“There are a couple of Group Ones in there that are not equally as important, but still I’ve had an amazing summer and long may it continue.”