CHICHESTER, WEST SUSSEX, UK – Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Too Darn Hot took on elders for the first time and looked too darn good in victory, taking Wednesday’s Qatar Sussex Stakes (G1) at Goodwood.
The Sussex is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Too Darn Hot receiving an automatic berth in the TVG Mile at Santa Anita Park this November.
The even-money favorite in a field of eight that included six total Group 1-level winners, Too Darn Hot traveled strongly early, riding within striking distance of early leader Phoenix Of Spain while Circus Maximus rode in second.
Still under cover 3 furlongs out at the top of the stretch, Too Darn Hot was poised to run but was pinned inside by Zabeel Prince. With 2 furlongs remaining, Circus Maximus struck the front and moved to the inside, a move that proved to be his undoing because it opened a lane for Too Darn Hot.
Firing sharply under Frankie Dettori, Too Darn Hot took command by the final furlong pole and kicked on for a hands-and-heels victory by a 1/2-length over the mile-long turf event.
“We had a smooth run to this race and his homework has been good, but my god he has so much speed – I can’t feel my arms at the moment!” Dettori exclaimed afterward. “He is just blessed with so much natural speed. He had a good run at this race today. He had been working well in the build-up to the race and we had him in the best shape we could have him.”
Too Darn Hot’s win was his second straight following a triumph at Deauville in the Qatar Prix Jean Prat Stakes (G1) and improved his overall record to 9-6-2-1 with £1,320,181 ($1,604,478) earned. The 3-year-old son of Dubawi, who will stand stud at Darly once his racing career ends, was undefeated in four starts as a juvenile but struggled to return to that form earlier in 2019.
“His best trip is probably 7 furlongs – I’ve put him in sprints, and wouldn’t be afraid of running him in the Sprint on Champions Day at Ascot, but a nice flat mile suits,” said winning trainer John Gosden. “We’ll probably stick to the mile now. We know there are lovely G1s ahead, such as the QEII and the Moulin, but to come and win the Sussex is wonderful.”
Gosden is no stranger to Breeders’ Cup success, having won the inaugural 1984 Mile with Royal Heroine while most recently taking the 2018 Turf with Enable. All told, Gosden has won Breeders’ Cup events five times, with two seconds and three thirds.