It was an interesting weekends action with the Dewhurst and Cesarewitch taking place at Newmarket and an Irish horse claiming the Herbert Power Stakes down under at Caulfield.
Too Darn Hot is a serious horse
Despite a wealth of juvenile talent across Europe, the John Gosden trained Too Darn Hot is the only two year old to have been flagged up in the horses to follow section of this website.
Extremely impressive in three facile wins in the lead up to last Saturday’s Dewhurst Stakes, the son of Dubawi was even more impressive stepped up to Group 1 company for the first time.
I thought Dettori gave him a great ride with regards to the future as he was keen out of the gate and, seeing daylight, this exuberant young colt wanted to get on with things. I have little doubt he would easily have made all if allowed his head, but Dettori wisely pulled him back and sought cover behind the leader.
I also have no doubt that he is capable of making all to win the 2000 Guineas next May, but teaching him that he can lead if he wants to will be no help to him when stepped up to ten furlongs and beyond next year. Dettori did him a good service by teaching him that he must relax and tuck in and follow and only go forward when given the office.
He will have learned a lot from the experience and the way he quickened from top class rivals left a lasting impression on this viewer.
Now a general 5/4 shot for the Newmarket Classic next May, presuming he can avoid any mishaps over the winter months, he will surely take all the beating.
The Newmarket Cesarewitch is a flat race like no other
Once again the Newmarket Cesarewitch proved that battle hardened National Hunt horses have a definite edge in this now hugely valuable contest.
A change to the terms of entry of the now 300,000 sterling to the winner Dubai sponsored marathon, means that no horse can now run without having raced at least twice on the flat in that same season. While the new rule would have, for example, ruled out last years winner Withhold, it also helps to negate the NH folk from producing one on the day that could be fifteen pounds or more well in.
This rule might help to level the playing field somewhat, but believe me, battle hardened NH types will continue to do extremely well in this race.
Thirty four runners over an extended eighteen furlongs on a thoroughly demanding track, will ask questions that most flat horses just don’t want to, and are probably not capable of, answering.
With this in mind, I thought the Aidan O Brien trained favourite Southern France actually kept on admirably for seventh and can be a force in staying contests next year with another winter behind him.
The Willie Mullins trained winner, Low Sun, is admirably tough and consistent and perhaps can continue to progress under his master trainer, who also saddled the second home, Uradel. However, I doubt Low Sun will have have a bigger pay day in his career.
It is also worth noting that the winner, like last years winner Withhold, is a son of Champs Elysees who has also sired another great stayer in Ascot Gold Cup winner Trip to Paris. A full brother to Dansili and wonder mare Banks Hill, Champs Elysees showed his versatility by also siring this years 1000 Guineas winner in Billesdon Brook and looks a good deal for both flat & NH breeders at his current stud fee of just 6,500 euro.
Yucatan scorches home in the Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield
With a 2.5kg penalty for winning the Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield, Yucatan is now all but guaranteed a place in the Lexus Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday in November.
No horse has been given such a big penalty in the last forty years for winning the Herbert Power, but such was the ease of victory for the Aidan O Brien trained son of Galileo, that it was surely warranted on this occasion.
Taking up the running a long way from home, he cruised clear and won with any amount in hand.
The quality of opposition must be questioned, but this horse couldn’t have won any easier and his genius trainer seems to have unearthed a similar type to last year Melbourne Cup runner-up, Johannes Vermeer.
And while connections of Caulfield Cup runners will be glad that his penalty for Melbourne secures him a slot in the race that stops a nation and means he will skip the Caulfield Cup, Yucatan will be feared by all in Melbourne.