Tuesday 20 August 2019

Too Darn Hot proves class in Sussex

Trainer John Gosden. Photo: Edward Whitaker
Trainer John Gosden. Photo: Edward Whitaker

Marcus Armytage

The first half of the season might have been a bit lukewarm for Too Darn Hot but the champion two-year-old took a major leap towards becoming champion at three with an assured victory in yesterday's £1 million Qatar Sussex Stakes.

Being hemmed in until a furlong and a half out meant Frankie Dettori had no choice but to wait and not get drawn into a slog with Aidan O'Brien's Circus Maximus.

But when the door opened Too Darn Hot's turn of foot was decisive and he shot past the Ballydoyle colt to win by a comfortable half-a-length.

"Frankie knew it would get tight," said trainer John Gosden, who has provided nine of Dettori's 11 Group One winners since Oaks day in June.

"I said just be patient and if you don't get through people will understand. Seven furlongs is probably Too Darn Hot's best trip but the stiff mile at The Curragh and the stiff mile at Ascot with rain caught him out.

"He missed the Greenham, missed the Guineas and should never have run in the Dante, mea culpa, and we rushed him back for Ireland.

"We've done nothing but get it wrong, the trainer and the manager. It is wonderful to have him back and proves it was no fluke he was champion at two. But Aidan O'Brien ran Circus Maximus in the Derby so we can all make mistakes!"

Dettori said: "His reputation is back to where it should be. Once he hit top gear I knew the race was over.

"I'm having an amazing run, not just winning Group Ones but mammoth races like the King George, the Gold Cup, the Eclipse. John just puts them on a plate for me.

"But when I came into the paddock today I said 'I'll need a heart transplant by the end of the week' and he said 'Shut up, you love it'. Maybe he is right."

Meanwhile, Mark Johnston equalled the record for career winners at Glorious Goodwood with a double. Wins for Sir Ron Priestley and Mrs Bouquet not only brought up the Johnston half-century for the month of July - a record in itself - they saw him join Michael Stoute on 80 victories at the meeting. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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