John Gosden’s champion two-year-old Too Darn Hot is due to return to action this coming Saturday in Newbury’s Greenham Stakes, a recognised trial for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May.
The Dubawi colt, owned by Lord Lloyd-Webber, is unbeaten going into this weekend having claimed four wins from four as a juvenile, including the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at HQ in devastating fashion and went into the winter as the highest rated juvenile since Frankel.
As a general 1/4 in advance of the race this weekend, Too Darn Hot has made the Greenham a watching brief for many as the sheer joy of seeing such an awesome thoroughbred do his thing takes precedence over having a bet, though there may be some lively outsiders to keep an eye on in the race.
Marcus Tregoning’s Mohaather is already a course and distance winner and is very much thought of as a Guineas type by his trainer and his being available at around 10/1 makes him a great each-way shout for this race.
Other contenders include Richard Hannon’s Boitron and Kevin Ryan’s highly rated Hello Youmzain, though the latter may well be more of a Commonwealth Cup type over six furlongs at Royal Ascot as time goes on and his participation in this is not guaranteed.
Too Darn Hot is a general odds-on shot for the Guineas on May 4th and with that comes pressure on his connections for things to go well on Saturday, though for many a defeat in this for Frankie Dettori’s mount is unthinkable.
Newbury currently describe their track as being soft, good to soft in places with more showers predicted and it’s fair to say that his handler won’t want to see too much more precipitation.
Too Darn Hot’s devastating turn of foot is no doubt best seen on faster going and heading into a Classic it’s never thought that a leading contender should have too hard a race first time out, something that may be the case on soft ground regardless of the quality of his opposition.
Newmarket’s Craven meeting comes hot on the heels of Newbury’s card but despite the prospect of better ground on the Rowley Mile, Gosden has remained keen to start his star colt off over seven furlongs rather than the mile of the Craven so for now this remains the target.
While defeat for Too Darn Hot, or even an unconvincing win to the naked eye, would open the Guineas market up somewhat, genuine racing fans want to see something special from last year’s champion this term and it’s hoped the ground doesn’t ruin that in any way.
Frankel himself finished his two-year-old season rated 126 officially, the same as Too Darn Hot, and indeed began his Guineas prep in the Greenham but that was on good to firm ground and he went on to win the race easily.
Whatever happens this Saturday, Too Darn Hot is the best miler we’ve seen at this age since 2011 and we’re all grateful for it, but the race will take some getting through for these unfinished colts and so a little caution should be advised in terms of betting.