Two of John Gosden’s potentially brilliant three-year-olds look like being kept busy in the coming days before they head of to Royal Ascot, much to the delight of the racing public.
Having made a belated reappearance in last week’s Dante Stakes followed a derailed prep for the 2000 Guineas, last year’s champion two-year-old Too Darn Hot has been left in this Saturday’s Irish 2000 Guineas and it appears his participation is now quite likely in the Curragh classic.
Despite running a little below par in being beaten into second place at York by Telecaster, Gosden was very pragmatic about Too Darn Hot and explained that as they were on the Knavesmire for a trial and now they’d gotten the answer as to whether their star colt was a Derby horse or not, he would go back down to a mile and be aimed at the St James’s Palace Stakes at the Royal meeting next month.
Gosden has reported that Too Darn Hot came out of the Dante in good order and, as he is a horse who likes to be kept busy, may yet run at the Curragh and with still more than three weeks between the Irish Guineas and Royal Ascot he should be able to maintain the schedule just fine.
He’s not alone in the camp either in being kept ticking over. The early favourite for this year’s 2000 Guineas was Too Darn Hot’s stable companion Calyx after he blitzed a very good field in last year’s Coventry Stakes, though after a setback he too was ruled out of the year’s first classic.
Having reappeared in the Commonwealth Cup Trial Stakes and shot clear to score he will be aimed at the Group 1 six furlong event next month but he is in need of another race and should come back out this Saturday in Haydock’s Sandy Lane Stakes.
Calyx is the current 6/4 clear favourite for the Commonwealth Cup but now going over sprint distances means connections are loath to keep him quiet at home and instead would rather he performed on the track.
He is the type to take his racing very well and is still very much a work in progress. Despite showing some blistering speed, owner Khalid Abdullah and trainer Gosden are still not ruling out his going over a mile later in the season and so the more we see of him in action the more we will know.
The Sandy Lane Stakes is a Group 2 and so Calyx will face some fair opposition should he line up at Haydock. Another comfortable win in this company would further harden his price for Royal Ascot but him lining up would also leave jockey Frankie Dettori with a big decision to make.
Would the superstar jock go to Haydock to ride a potential superstar, or go to the Curragh to take the mount on Too Darn Hot? It seems likely Ireland would be the way he’d go should both colts have their participation at the weekend confirmed on Thursday.