Too Darn Hot missed the 2,000 Guineas after a setback so trainer John Gosden has elected to start the champion two-year-old of 2018 in the 10f Dante Stakes, suggesting a u-turn on his view that he’s not a middle distance horse.
Surely victory here would confirm his place in the Derby on June 1st, where he would probably shorten to favourite, but that’s all hypothetical at this stage and he first has to prove he’s trained on and stays this trip – albeit both are highly likely.
This is a deep Group Two containing a Breeders’ Cup winner and a 1.3m guineas Galileo colt for the ridiculously in-form Aidan O’Brien yard, as well as several unexposed and well bred colts.
It’s difficult to pick holes in a horse that was so classy as a juvenile but I am intrigued by the suggestion Too Darn Hot has a significantly shorter stride length than most middle distance horses, which might suggest stamina could be an issue and pace more his game.
As a 6/5 shot I couldn’t back him as he’s been quoted as being very fresh and barely ready to start, and there’s got to be concern he won’t settle, which won’t help him stay.
He could be a monster, but the same could be said of the Galileo colts in this race who won’t be lacking for stamina.
Japan, Line Of Duty, Telecaster and Surfman all have decent claims to justify single-digit odds, but the one I’ve landed on is Sir Michael Stoute’s ALMANIA.
One of the outsiders of the field at 22/1, he’s sired by Derby winner Australia whose first crop of three-year-olds have been running really well over middle distances and showing significant progression from their two-year-old campaigns.
Almania looks a certain stayer of this 10f trip despite never racing beyond 7f to date, and the fact he was fast enough to win races over that far shorter trip last year suggests he’s quite classy.
He’s got a Derby entry and, frankly, with only a few weeks to go now until the big race, I’d expect most of these horses will be quite forward and not too lacking for fitness.
The long price is the deciding factor here as he’s several times the price of the other market principles, opening up each-way options.
1pt each-way Almania @22/1, 15:00 York, ThursdayLeave a comment