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Too Darn Hot on the boil for return in Greenham Stakes

8 Apr 2019

John Gosden says the QIPCO 2000 Guineas favourite is in "good order" for return.

Too Darn Hot was flawless last year. Picture:

Too Darn Hot is on course to make his reappearance in the  Watership Down Stud Greenham Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

The unbeaten colt, champion two-year-old of last year, is hot favourite for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 4 – the first race in this year’s QIPCO British Champions Series – and also heads the ante-post betting for the Investec Derby.

He featured in our New Kids On The Block series over the winter.

“I am happy with the horse,” said Gosden on Monday. “He is in good order. He is coming up to the race nicely, but quite frankly I wouldn’t like to see a whole bundle of more rain. This is a horse with an electric turn of foot. You don’t necessarily want to go running in very testing ground first time out of the year.”

“Obviously I like Newbury as a track, as well as Newmarket, but I wanted to run over seven furlongs first rather than go straight to a mile and this has been the plan since the Dewhurst.”

Gosden said the 126 rating awarded to Too Darn Hot by handicappers in January, which triggered comparisons with Frankel, was “all a matter of opinion.”

“We are delighted with the rating of course,” he said. “I’ve always had one great rule. The horses do the talking. To start banging drums and puffing things up before makes little sense. He had a flawless display last year as a two-year-old. He’s a lovely colt. He’s wintered well and we’ve been happy with him. It’s not my style to bang on about anything beyond that.”

There are 13 other entries in the Greenham, including Mohaather, who won over course and distance when landing the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes in October.

His trainer Marcus Tregoning said: “We’ve had a really good run and he’s been working well. We think he is a nice horse and we intend to find out how good he is.

“I see the Greenham as a trial. He will go there well prepared and in very good form. If he wins the Greenham well and Too Darn Hot is not so darn hot, it will be Sheikh Hamdan’s decision [to go for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas].”

The 21 entries for the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Stakes, registered as the Fred Darling Stakes, include once-raced Ralph Beckett-trained Dancing Vega, a 14-1 chance for the fillies’ Classic, and Dandhu, trained by David Elsworth, who was second to 1,000 Guineas favourite Just Wonderful in the Rockfel Stakes.