Sangarius will give Too Darn Hot a test
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