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Too Darn Hot to handle Sussex rivals

 

By David Clough

The real Too Darn Hot is due to show up at Goodwood today and prove his mettle in the Qatar Sussex Stakes.

Stable vibes are not always a reliable priority over the form book, but on occasions all the hints are so strong that it is unwise to ignore them.

Today presents a prime case of listening to what we have been told all season by trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori about the enduring ability of Too Darn Hot.

Neither has wavered at any point over the past four months from the insistence that, irrespective of the colt's various tribulations, unequivocally he has trained on from his brilliant, unbeaten juvenile campaign.

Untimely injury ruled him out of his anticipated April return in the Greenham Stakes, and his trainer has been robust in admissions since then that a subsequent attempt to stretch him out in distance was folly.

Too Darn Hot's failure to win the Dante was thus explained, while his eclipse by Phoenix Of Spain in the Irish 2,000 Guineas came little more than a week later.

A close third to Circus Maximus at Royal Ascot was much more like it, and further evidence too - so the Gosden thesis goes - that an easier mile, or something a little shorter, is his trip.

Too Darn Hot vindicated his trainer with this month's authoritative Group One win over seven furlongs at Deauville, for the first time this season looking like the champion who cast aside all challengers in 2018.

The scene of his latest assignment is hand-picked to play to his strengths and, if you care to read between the lines - rather than dogmatically stick to the letter of his defeats - then the conclusion is clear that he will settle the score against his two re-opposing Curragh and Ascot conquerors.

Dettori may be riding high by the time he is reunited with Too Darn Hot, because in the preceding Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes he will be on board Maven. Wesley Ward did not manage to add to his Royal Ascot haul last month, but Maven did the American trainer proud instead with an all-the-way Group Three win at Chantilly.

Day two gets under way with two hugely competitive handicaps, in which Timishenko and then Mind The Crack are both worth a mention.

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