San­gar­ius will give Too Darn Hot a test

The Racing Paper - - Tv Races And News -

THE De­whurst Stakes holds a rep­u­ta­tion as one of the ma­jor sign­posts for the fol­low­ing year’s Clas­sics, and four of the top seven in the bet­ting for next year’s 2000 Guineas are due to lock horns this af­ter­noon.

Sev­eral horses have com­pleted the dou­ble over the years, Churchill be­ing the most re­cent in 2016/17, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Za­fonic, Pen­nekamp, Rock of Gibral­tar, Frankel and Dawn Ap­proach.

Ai­dan O’Brien is the usual start­ing point when pre­view­ing a Group 1 con­test – par­tic­u­larly when he and Ryan Moore have teamed up to win the last three re­newals of this – but for once the mar­ket is topped by a non-Cool­more con­tender: John Gos­den’s Too Darn Hot.

A brother to the very smart fil­lies So Mi Dar and Lah Ti Dar, both owned by Lord and Lady Web­ber, Too Darn Hot has done very lit­tle wrong, stretch­ing his un­beaten start to three when win­ning a strong­lyrun Group 2 Cham­pagne Stakes at Don­caster last time by one and three quar­ter lengths.

He is right up there with the best in the di­vi­sion we’ve seen so far this year – he’s be­hind only Quorto on Time­form rat­ings. But al­ready proven over a mile, he wouldn’t want this first foray into Group 1 com­pany to turn into a tac­ti­cal sprint.

In con­trast, Ad­ver­tise might find that sce­nario play­ing to his strengths. He is the only Group 1 win­ner in the field, tak­ing the Phoenix Stakes at the Cur­ragh in Au­gust, and he didn’t need to im­prove on his suc­cess in a no-morethan-av­er­age re­newal of the July Stakes to do so, his main mar­ket ri­val un­der­per­form­ing as he be­came the first UK-trained win­ner of the race in 21 years.

Ad­ver­tise was a length sec­ond to Ca­lyx in the Coven­try Stakes at Royal As­cot on his only other start, so he cer­tainly has an at­trac­tive pro­file, and though he has raced only over six fur­longs so far, he should prove as ef­fec­tive at this trip.

Ai­dan O’Brien sends three run­ners in his bid to win this race for the fourth year run­ning in the form of Christ­mas, Mo­hawk and An­thony Van Dyck. It is the lat­ter who looks to be the strong­est of the trio, and he has al­ready proven him­self a very smart colt, his wins in­clud­ing the Ty­ros Stakes at Leop­ard­stown in July and Fu­tu­rity Stakes at the Cur­ragh (by half a length from Christ­mas) in Au­gust.

He took his form up an­other notch – de­spite hav­ing his win­ning run ended – when one and a quar­ter lengths sec­ond of seven to Quorto in the Na­tional Stakes at the Cur­ragh last time, lead­ing briefly two fur­longs out but un­able to hold off a po­ten­tial top-notcher late on.

He’s a tal­ented, un­com­pli­cated sort who is open to fur­ther progress, so is en­ti­tled to plenty of re­spect. Both Christ­mas and Mo­hawk fin­ished be­hind their sta­ble­mate in each of the Fu­tu­rity and Na­tional Stakes, and while Mo­hawk has since won the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes over 1m here, both are held by their sta­ble­mate on form and will need to im­prove sig­nif­i­cantly to play a lead­ing role.

The plot thick­ens, how ever, with San­gar­ius.

A big, rangy colt who is from the fam­ily of the high­class Corona­tion Stakes, Breed­ers’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, and Jac­ques le Marois win­ner Banks Hill, San­gar­ius shaped well when win­ning a mi­nor event (full of longer-term prospects) on the July Course in Au­gust by a neck from Bangko.

He con­firmed that de­but prom­ise – and over­came in­ex­pe­ri­ence, to boot – when fol­low­ing up in a listed race at Don­caster last month by two and a quar­ter lengths from Dubai Do­min­ion, go­ing with en­thu­si­asm and kept up to work once lead­ing over a fur­long out.

San­gar­ius is a very ex­cit­ing prospect, and while he has plenty to find with the prin­ci­pals, he has a large P at­tached to his Time­form rat­ing which means he is ex­pected to im­prove con­sid­er­ably. He will get a mile this year (also has a Fu­tu­rity Tro­phy en­try), but is well worth his place in this line-up.

Fi­nally, Kuwait Cur­rency de­serves more than just a pass­ing men­tion. He has shown use­ful form in two of his three starts so far, win­ning a listed race over a mile at Sal­is­bury most re­cently by one and three quar­ter lengths from Dark Jedi, stay­ing on to lead en­ter­ing the fi­nal fur­long and keep­ing on strongly. That run is work­ing out well, but he will need to take an­other large step for­ward in this ex­alted com­pany.

In con­clu­sion, Too Darn Hot is right up there with the best two-year-olds we’ve seen this year, and looks the one to beat. Like the long-strid­ing San­gar­ius, he wouldn’t want this to turn into a tac­ti­cal sprint, but he gets the vote to stretch his un­beaten record to four. Ad­ver­tise, who has al­ready proven him­self to be one of the best sprint­ers in his age group, would be ready to take ad­van­tage if this did turn tac­ti­cal, while An­thony Van Dyck com­mands plenty of re­spect for Bal­ly­doyle.

Ex­cit­ing prospect: San­gar­ius is ex­pected to im­prove con­sid­er­ably

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