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Dual hemisphere appeal is Too Darn Hot

7 min read
For a number of years Dubawi has stamped his mark on Australian racing, Benbatl most recently, plus smart mares Srikandi, Secret Admirer and Shamal Wind. His most recent European superstar is the 2YO G1 Dewhurst S. winner Too Darn Hot, not only the highest rated winner but highest rated 2YO since Frankel.

One thing on which we can all agree is that Too Darn Hot (GB) (Dubawi {GB}) is an outstanding juvenile, thus appealing to both hemisphere markets Anyone who saw him sprint away from his rivals in the final 300m of the G1 Dewhurst S. last Saturday can have no trouble in identifying his class. What is far harder to quantify, though, is his future - where will he stand at stud, and where in Australia might he shuttle to?

Will he emulate previous Dewhurst Stakes winners Ormonde, Rock Sand, Bayardo, Hyperion, Crepello, Nijinsky, Mill Reef and Frankel by securing a place among the brightest stars in racing’s galaxy? Or will he go the way of Crowned Prince, Lunchtime and Cellini, of Tromos, Storm Bird and Diesis, in failing ever to come close to repeating the dominance which he showed on Dewhurst Day? Only time will tell, of course.

Even harder to predict will be the success or otherwise of his eventual stud career; but, as things stand at present, there are plenty of reasons to enthuse about Too Darn Hot’s future, as both racehorse and stallion.

One of the really exciting aspects of Too Darn Hot’s future is that he looks to have the potential to consolidate the sire-line of the mighty Dubai Millennium (USA) (Seeking The Gold {USA}). Dubai Millennium was clearly one of the most special racehorses of the modern era.

It wasn’t merely that it was impossible to ignore Sheikh Mohammed’s seeming certainty that he was the best horse he would ever own; even more stunning was the breath-taking dominance of the magnificent horse’s record-breaking victory in the G1 Dubai World Cup in 2000.

It was a tragedy that Dubai Millennium only lived long enough to sire one (fairly small) crop of foals. From this crop came only two realistic stallion prospects: Dubawi and Echo Of Light (GB). There wasn’t much room for error if his branch of the Mr Prospector sire-line was to last more than a couple of generations.

Dubawi

Realistically, if Dubai Millennium was going to found his own dynasty, it was all going to be down to Dubawi.

All down to Dubawi

It didn’t take long for Dubawi, who had won one Group One race as a two-year-old and landed two more at the age of three, to show himself to be an above-average sire.

His first crop contained G1 2,000 Guineas winner Makfi (Ire), outstanding HK-based sprinter Lucky Nine (Ire), G1 Queen Elizabeth II S. winner Poet’s Voice (Ire), the G1 Dubai World Cup heroes Monterosso (GB) and Prince Bishop (Ire), and high-class Italian-trained miler Worthadd (Ire); while his first stint of shuttling to Australia yielded included the multiple Group One winners Secret Admirer and Tiger Tees (NZ).

From Dubawi’s second season came the champion Al Kazeem (GB), multiple Group One winner Hunter’s Light (Ire) and the excellent Dubawi Gold (Ire) who chased home Frankel in the most stunning renewal of the G1 2,000 Guineas that any of us will ever see.

We now know that Dubawi has nothing left to prove as a sire: he has already shown that he is the complete stallion.

G1 winner Secret Admirer came from Dubawi's first Southern Hemisphere crop

It did, though, take a few years for us to be able to appreciate the full extent of Dubawi’s merit as a stallion. When two of a stallion’s son win top-class mile races at the age of three (as was the case with Dubawi, courtesy of Makfi and Poet’s Voice) it becomes instantly clear that the horse is capable of siring high-quality offspring.

To appreciate the full excellence of Dubawi, however, one had to wait a few years, simply to understand that, over and above being a source of class, he is a massive influence for toughness, soundness, longevity and genuineness too. We now know that Dubawi is all of these things, and as such he has nothing left to prove as a sire: he has already shown that he is the complete stallion.

Too Darn Hot, however, is potentially the most exciting of the lot.

Timeform ratings for the last 10 renewals of the Dewhurst

A sire of sires

Dubawi is now established as a sire or sires, as well as a sire of racehorses. Poet’s Voice exceeded the expectations which most would have held of him, but sadly died aged only 11. Happily, he has a posthumous chance to extend the line as his dual Group One-winning son Poet’s Word (Ire) is retiring to Shadwell and is sure to be well supported.

Makfi has been represented by three individual Group One winners in Australasia headed by dual Oaks heroine Bonneval (NZ), plus French Classic winner Make Believe (GB) in Europe. Al Kazeem is clearly a very decent stallion despite poor fertility having restricted him to a very small first crop.

Too Darn Hot, however, is potentially the most exciting of the lot. He ranks as the best two-year-old sired so far by Dubawi (which is quite a compliment bearing in mind that the same crop also contains G1 National S. winner Quorto (Ire), who himself is a top-class colt) and even at this early stage has claims to be regarded as his father’s best son. If he can remain injury-free, a glorious future awaits.

Too Darn Hot with Frankie Dettori and Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber

The interesting thing about Too Darn Hot is that, by virtue of racing for independent owner/breeders he will likely end up at one of the biggest breeding operations. And that applies to the southern hemisphere just as much as to the northern, because Too Darn Hot will, in the fullness of time, hold great appeal to breeders in both hemispheres.

A point of particular interest for him in Australasia would be that there is currently a relatively light representation of the Mr Prospector sire-line in the region.

The late, great Street Cry (Ire) (Machiavellian {USA}) is much missed, as the exploits of his outstanding daughter Winx keep reminding us.

Winx, though, is not the only recent Australian Horse of the Year to have come from the Mr Prospector line: it has also yielded 2007/’08 HOTY Weekend Hussler (Husson {USA}), as well as such outstanding gallopers as Takeover Target (Celtic Swing {GB}), Apache Cat (Lion Cavern {USA}), Ethereal (NZ) (Rhythm {USA}), Shocking (Aus) (Street Cry {Ire}) and Pride Of Dubai (Street Cry {Ire}).

The latter rates as an exciting young sire at Coolmore, while formerly the line was well represented in Australia’s sires’ ranks by the 1997 G1 Doncaster H. winner Secret Savings (USA), like Dubai Millennium a son of Seeking The Gold (USA) (Mr Prospector {USA}).

Like Street Cry, Too Darn Hot comes from a family famous for regularly producing top-class middle-distance performers. He is clearly an abnormally good two-year-old. If he can remain injury-free, he promises to be an abnormally good racehorse next year and beyond. Long-term, he has the potential to be a mouth-watering dual-hemisphere stallion prospect.

Too Darn Hot: what the judges say..

"He’s blessed with an awful lot of speed and he seems to be taking more after his father. He’s a great guy and a wonderful character–he’s with you 100 per-cent. It has to be the 2000 Guineas now. It’s a little unusual to go group three, group two and group one, but he’s shown his class and this is a bit of a dream come true."

- John Gosden

“He’s an amazing horse and among the best I’ve ridden. He’s got everything, a good cruising speed and really quickens. He’s got pace and is bred to stay. He’s had three easy races in his life and he was getting knocked about in the middle and ran in snatches, so for a minute I thought I would struggle. Then the turbo kicks in and on he goes–in the end I was able to ease him down.”

- Frankie Dettori