Too Darn Hot lives up to his name in Goodwood's Sussex Stakes

Too Darn Hot on the way to the line in the Qatar Sussex Stakes / Picture: Alan Crowhurst, Getty Images
Too Darn Hot on the way to the line in the Qatar Sussex Stakes / Picture: Alan Crowhurst, Getty Images

Another day, another big-race triumph for Frankie Dettori and John Gosden. There is simply no stopping the jockey-trainer team at Goodwood this week.

Twenty-four hours after teaming up with Stradivarius for the horse's historic third successive Goodwood Cup win, Dettori and Gosden proved their talents again - not that anyone doubted them - with Too Darn Hot's victory in the showpiece race of the week, the £1m Qatar Sussex Stakes.

As with the champion stayer a day early, Too Darn Hot's connections went into this race knowing it was no foregone conclusion, even of their runner was going off evens favourite.

Aidan O'Brien likes a big Goodwood winner and had supplemented Royal Ascot winner Circus Maximus at a cost of £70,000, while Pheonix of Spain and Lord Glitters also brought impressive credentials into the race. But there was no denying sizzling three-year-old Too Darn Hot.

Newmarket trainer Gosden has not been afraid to admit he made errors in the races he picked this season for the horse, and reiterated his failing after the colt won this G1 contest.

Owned and bred by Lord Lloyd-Webber, and set one day to become a stallion under Sheikh Mohammed's Darley banner, Too Darn Hot was nudged to victory by Dettori, riding his 11th G1 win of a memorable year. The partnership beat Circus Maximus (9/2) and I Can Fly (14/1) by half a length and a length and a quarter. But Goodwood racegoers are unlikely to see Too Darn Hot return next year - he is set to retire at the end of 2019.

Gosden, who was keen to point out that both he and Lord Lloyd-Webber's racing manager, Simon Marsh, held their hands up for the colt's defeats, said: "We knew Phoenix Of Spain and Circus Maximus would go forward, and they set an even pace. Frankie said after that it was a pity they hadn't taken down the auxiliary rail [in the home straight] because he knew it would get tight [among the runners] and it did.

"At Goodwood it angles out and there's an elbow, but I said 'Just sit tight and if you don't get out everyone will understand - don't go committing three furlongs out' and he didn't but sat tight and when Andrea's horse [Zabeel Prince] got tired the gap opened and we were away.

"His best trip is probably seven 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. The Curragh mile was too stiff after we ran him back too soon after the Dante Stakes, and it was the same in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, where the mile climbs a long way. It caught him out. His mother [Dar Re Mi, a three-time G1 winner who Gosden trained] stayed a mile and a half, but he's all speed.

"He was a champion two-year-old, which proved he was speed. I've been so open that he missed the Greenham Stakes and 2000 Guineas, which I think he would have won, after he threw a splint in training, but we got it wrong running him in the Dante Stakes, which is not his trip. Then we rushed him back, and it was stupid and wrong. Fortunately, the horse has overcome both his manager and his trainer! It was interesting that they [Aidan O'Brien and his patrons] ran Circus Maximus over a mile and a half in the Derby, so we all makes mistakes!

"The horse [Too Darn Hot] has come right now, and it's a pity that Andrew and Madeleine [Lloyd-Webber] are at a music festival in Salzburg, but it's wonderful their horse is back, and he's proved that being champion two-year-old was no fluke.

"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. To me the great races are the Sussex, the Jacques Le Marois, and the QEII - the all-aged G1s."

Gosden added: "I don't think he will be remaining in training next year. When you have been champion two-year-old and have won two G1s this year, with hopefully more to come, I think he has done his job. It was rather the same with Kingman and Roaring Lion. Their commercial value becomes so great because of their speed and being champion two-year-old, and that takes over."

As for Dettori, he is the man for the big occasion - but then we already knew that.

Dettori and Gosden have enjoyed a spellbinding summer, characterised by victories in the last five days from Enable (G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes), Stradivarius and Too Darn Hot's win.

Dettori's 11 G1 victories this year have come in the G1 Investec Oaks, G1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes, G1 Gold Cup, G1 Commonwealth Cup, G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, G1 Coral-Eclipse, G1 Prix Jean Prat, G1 Irish Oaks, G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes, G1 Qatar Goodwood Cup, G1 Sussex Stakes.

The 48-year-old rider said: "Too Darn Hot is very good. 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! 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. It was great to reverse the form of Ascot and the race worked out how we wanted. They tried to stretch my stamina today, but I just had too many guns for them.

"Too Darn Hot got the big one today that he really deserved. He has been unlucky for various reasons this year, but now he has showed his true colours and we are delighted.

"He is a wonderful horse with a wonderful pedigree and deserved a proper G1, which we all thought he had in him. I am so lucky that I work for Clarehaven [Stables]. We have an amazing team, it is a pleasurable place to work, and amazing horses trained by a genius of a trainer.

"He has a lot of pace and a Breeders' Cup Mile would be idea, with a fast two turns. I am sure that it could be the end of season target.

"It's not just G1s - to look at the list of G1 that I have won [this year], they are absolutely amazing, mammoth races. King Georges, Eclipses and Gold Cups - they are proper G1s. I have had an amazing summer and long may it continue. Mr Gosden is the genius - he puts it on the plate for me and I am doing the rest.

"I was waiting for Too Darn Hot to come into the paddock and I said to John: "I will probably need a heart transplant by the end of the week!" He told me to shut up and that I loved it - maybe he is right.

"This is probably the best year I've had. I cannot say enough thanks to John Gosden. He is an amazing trainer with an amazing team and long may it continue."