Too Darn Hot (horse)

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Too Darn Hot
Owner Lord Lloyd-Webber.svg
Racing silks of Lord Lloyd-Webber
GrandsireDubai Millennium
DamDar Re Mi
Foaled27 March 2016[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom
BreederWatership Down Stud
OwnerAndrew Lloyd Webber
TrainerJohn Gosden
Record9: 6-2-1
Major wins
Solario Stakes (2018)
Champagne Stakes (2018)
Dewhurst Stakes (2018)
Prix Jean Prat (2019)
Sussex Stakes (2019)
Cartier Champion Two-year-old Colt (2018)
Top-rated European 2-y-o (2018)

Too Darn Hot (foaled 27 March 2016) is a British Thoroughbred racehorse. As a two-year-old in 2018 he was rated the best of his generation in Europe, winning the Solario Stakes, Champagne Stakes and the Dewhurst Stakes. He was beaten when favourite or joint-favourite in his first three races in 2019 but returned to form when winning the Prix Jean Prat and Sussex Stakes in the summer.


Too Darn Hot was bred in England by his owner, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Watership Down Stud. Lloyd Webber later explained that although the stud usually puts its colts up for auction, Too Darn Hot had suffered an injury as a foal and was thought unlikely to find a buyer.[2] The colt was sent into training with John Gosden in Newmarket, Suffolk.

He was sired by Dubawi a top-class son of Dubai Millennium, whose wins included the Irish 2000 Guineas and the Prix Jacques Le Marois. At stud, Dubawi has been a highly-successful breeding stallion, siring major winners such as Monterosso, Al Kazeem, Makfi, Lucky Nine and Night of Thunder.[3] Too Darn Hot's dam Dar Re Mi was an outstanding racemare whose wins included the Pretty Polly Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks and Sheema Classic. Her other foals have included So Mi Dar (Musidora Stakes) and La Ti Dar (runner-up in the St Leger). Dar Re Mi was a daughter of Darara who won the Prix Vermeille and was a half sister to Darshaan.[4]

Racing career[edit]

2018: two-year-old season[edit]

In all of his starts as a juvenile in 2018 Too Darn Hot was ridden by Frankie Dettori. The colt made his debut in a maiden race over one mile at Sandown Park on 9 August and was made the 8/11 favourite against four opponents. After disputing the lead from the start he drew away from his rivals in the last quarter mile and won by seven lengths from Rowland Ward.[5] On 1 September the colt was stepped up in class for the Group 3 Solario Stakes over seven furlongs at the same track. He was made the even money favourite in a six-runner field which included Arthur Kitt (winner of the Chesham Stakes), Dunkerron (runner-up in the Vintage Stakes) and Watan (runner-up in the Acomb Stakes). After racing in third place, Too Darn Hot took the lead approaching the final furlong and "powered clear" to win by four lengths from Arthur Kitt.[6] After the race Dettori said "I gave him as much experience as I could. I gave him a couple of flicks and he has put a very good field to bed in impressive fashion. He’s got options. We know he can stay a mile but he also showed speed over seven today, he had the race won by the furlong-and-a-half. He’s pretty special".[7]

Two weeks after his win in the Solario, Too Darn Hot moved up to Group 2 class for the Champagne Stakes over seven furlong at Doncaster Racecourse and was made the 4/11 favourite. The best of his five opponents appeared to be Dark Vision (Vintage Stakes), Phoenix of Spain (Acomb Stakes) and Van Beethoven (Railway Stakes). After tracking the leaders Too Darn Hot took the lead a furlong out and won by one and three quarter lengths from Phoenix of Spain.[8] Dettori commented "What he did between the three-furlong pole and furlong pole was pretty amazing. He made six lengths in two furlongs – pretty special. Today is his first time on a flat track and he gave me a really good feel, he went through the gears".[2]

On his final run of the year Too Darn Hot started the even money favourite for the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket Racecourse. The other six runners were Anthony Van Dyck (Futurity Stakes), Advertise, Sangarius (Flying Scotsman Stakes), Mohawk (Royal Lodge Stakes), Christmas (Caravaggio Stakes) and Kuwait Currency (Stonehenge Stakes). After racing in mid-division as Christmas set the pace, Too Darn Hot was angled right to make his challenge in the last quarter mile. He took the inside the final furlong and won "very readily" by two and three quarter lengths from Advertise.[9] Dettori, who was winning the race for the first time at the age of 47 said "He's an amazing horse and in the end I was struggling to ease him down. He's had three easy races and today he was getting knocked about and running in snatches. For a minute I thought I was in trouble and then the turbo kicked in. He's up with the best I've ridden – he's got a good cruising speed and he moves his legs really fast".[10]

At the 2018 Cartier Awards, Too Darn Hot was named Champion Two-year-old Colt.[11] In the official ratings for two-year-olds he was rated the best juvenile of the year, five pounds superior to his nearest rival Quorto.[12]

2019: three-year-old season[edit]

Throughout the winter and the spring of 2019 Too Darn Hot was the ante-post favourite for the 2000 Guineas. He was expected to begin his season in the Greenham Stakes but was withdrawn from the race after developing a splint in training. Although the condition improved Gosden decided that the lost time made it impossible to bring the horse to peak form for the Guineas and ruled him out of the race.[13] The colt eventually returned to the track in the Dante Stakes (a trial race for the Epsom Derby) over ten and a half furlongs at York Racecourse on 16 May in which started favourite but sustained his first defeat as he was beaten a length into second place by Telecaster. Nine days later he was dropped back in distance for the Irish 2000 Guineas over one mile at the Curragh and was made the 6/4 joint favourite alongside the 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia. After racing in mid-division he made good progress in the straight but was unable to trouble the front-running Phoenix of Spain and was beaten three lengths into second place. At Royal Ascot on 18 June Too Darn Hot started 2/1 favourite against ten opponents for the St James's Palace Stakes. He produced a strong late challenge, but, in a closely contested finish he was beaten a neck and three quarters of a length by Circus Maximus and King of Comedy.

On 7 July Too Darn Hot was sent to France and dropped back in distance for the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat over 1400 metres at Deauville Racecourse. He started the odds on favourite with the best-fancied of his eleven opponents being Space Blues (Surrey Stakes), Graignes and Munitions (Prix Djebel). Dettori settled the colt just behind the leaders before going to the front 300 metres from the finish and Too Darn Hot pulled clear of his rivals to win "comfortably" by three lengths.[14] After the race Gosden said "His proper distance is 1400 metres up to an easy mile and we'll play to his strengths rather than stupidly playing to his weaknesses. He's not a stamina horse, he's built like a sprinter. I probably should have been running him in the July Cup next week", while Dettori commented "he's blessed with so much speed. We tried to stretch him and every time he ran, he didn't finish his races off. Ireland was too soon, then Ascot is a really stiff mile, so today, he put everything to bed and he showed his old turn of foot".[15]

The Sussex Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse on 31 July saw Too Darn Hot matched again older horses for the first time and he started favourite in an eight-runner field. Circus Maximus and Phoenix of Spain were again in opposition while the senior contenders were Lord Glitters (Queen Anne Stakes), Zabeel Prince (Prix d'Ispahan), Accidental Agent and the filly I Can Fly. The favourite was settled in third place by Dettori as Phoenix of Spain set the pace from Circus Maximus. The St James's Palace Stakes winner took the lead in the straight but Too Darn Hot was switched left, gained the advantage a furlong out and won by half a length.[16] Dettori said "I got him to settle and he showed what he can do. He’s finally got a proper Group 1 in this country and he's back to where his reputation should be. John had said don't panic and wait... I managed to pull him out and he was full of running. I passed [Circus Maximus] with ease; he put up a bit of a fight but we got to the line well... the Breeders' Cup Mile could be ideal".[17]

Less than a week after his win at Goodwood it was announced that Too Darn Hot had sustained a hairline fracture to his right hind cannon bone and would be retired from racing.[18]


Pedigree of Too Darn Hot (GB), bay colt, 2016[1]
Dubawi (IRE)
Dubai Millennium (GB)
Seeking the Gold (USA) Mr. Prospector
Con Game
Colorado Dancer (IRE) Shareef Dancer (USA)
Fall Aspen (USA)
Zomaradah (GB)
Deploy Shirley Heights
Slightly Dangerous (USA)
Jawaher (IRE) Dancing Brave (USA)
High Tern
Dar Re Mi (GB)
Singspiel (IRE)
In The Wings (GB) Sadler's Wells (USA)
High Hawk (IRE)
Glorious Song (CAN) Halo (USA)
Ballade (USA)
Darara (GB)
Top Ville (IRE) High Top
Sega Ville (FR)
Delsy (FR) Abdos
Kelty (Family 13-c)[4]


  1. ^ a b "Too Darn Hot pedigree". Equineline. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  2. ^ a b Carr, David. "Lloyd-Webber star is a Hot ticket after spectacular Champagne show". Racing Post.
  3. ^ "Dubawi Stud Record".
  4. ^ a b "Thoroughbred Bloodlines – Stray Shot – Family 13-c". Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  5. ^ "Slug And Lettuce 2-4-1 Tanqueray Thursdays EBF Maiden Stakes result". Racing Post. 9 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Solario Stakes result". Racing Post. 1 September 2018.
  7. ^ Wood, Greg (1 September 2018). "Frankie Dettori and Too Darn Hot scorch home to lift Derby temperature". The Guardian.
  8. ^ "Champagne Stakes result". Racing Post. 15 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Dewhurst Stakes result". Racing Post. 13 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Too Darn Hot gives Frankie Dettori first Dewhurst Stakes victory". BBC Sport. 13 October 2018.
  11. ^ Armytage, Marcus (13 November 2018). "Roaring Lion seals stunning year with top Cartier award". Daily Telegraph.
  12. ^ "Irish Classification 2018" (PDF). Horse Racing Ireland.
  13. ^ Milnes, David (20 April 2019). "Too Darn Hot to miss 2,000 Guineas as Gosden team run out of time". Racing Post.
  14. ^ "Prix Jean Prat result". Racing Post. 7 July 2019.
  15. ^ Burton, Scott (7 July 2019). "Back to form: Too Darn Hot produces dominant display in Prix Jean Prat". Racing Post.
  16. ^ "Sussex Stakes result". Racing Post. 31 July 2019.
  17. ^ Wood, Greg (July 31, 2019). "Glorious Goodwood: Too Darn Hot and Frankie Dettori win Sussex Stakes" – via The Guardian.
  18. ^ Haynes, Jack (5 August 2019). "Sussex Stakes winner Too Darn Hot retired after sustaining career-ending injury". Racing Post.

External links[edit]