Over Too You

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Too Darn Hot | Scoop Dyga

With Stradivarius (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) delivering for Frankie on Tuesday, the weight of expectation now rests on Too Darn Hot (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) to maintain the run in Wednesday's G1 Qatar Sussex S. at Goodwood. In many ways, the Lloyd-Webbers' 'TDN Rising Star' was the one who at the start of the season promised most to make this a memorable season for Dettori with his unbeaten streak culminating in juvenile champion status. That it has hardly gone to any kind of plan so far in 2019 is well-documented, but now that his year has been redeemed in authoritative style in the G1 Prix Jean Prat at Deauville July 7 he comes to these famous Downs with confidence of horse and jockey at an optimum. Tuesday's rain was insufficient to stretch his stamina beyond its limit and John Gosden has no concerns on that score.

“He handles any ground,” he said. “Finally, we are letting the horse do what he wants to do–run and show his speed and class. He is an extremely fast horse with bundles of natural speed and we were stupidly trying to take that away from him. When you watch him, he is powerful and Frankie said that his stride pattern is so quick. We went to France with a lot of confidence, because his work was brilliant going in. He just showed he had come back to himself, because he went through a hellish spring.”

Surprising many at a rain-afflicted opening day at Royal Ascot, Circus Maximus (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) bids to repeat his G1 St James's Palace S. heroics having been trained specifically for a miling campaign in the interim. Aidan O'Brien spoke after that June 18 contest of how the Niarchos colour-bearer had been rushed into the race having run sixth in the G1 Epsom Derby 17 days beforehand, but he will arrive here with greater fine-tuning to cope with a more pronounced speed test. “He gets that mile well,” his trainer commented. “He was left in the Guineas up to a late enough stage, as we always thought he was a very nice horse last year.”

Disappointing when sixth in the St James's Palace, Tony Wechsler and Ann Plummer's Phoenix of Spain (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) has been revitalised at home by Charlie Hills in an attempt to engage the spirit of the dynamic G1 Irish 2000 Guineas winner. At least part of that May 25 Classic-winning performance is due to The Curragh's crazy pace bias when the ground rides fast and he has a question to answer now. “It was horrible conditions for that race [the St James's Palace] and it was getting quite loose on top. I felt he didn't handle that surface too well,” Hills explained. “He ran a huge race in Ireland after a long lay-off, so there was always a chance of a bounce. He was quite stiff after Ascot and not quite 100% sound, but he came good after three or four days. I am really pleased with the way he is moving now and I think he must have just tweaked a muscle at Ascot. He seems in a much better place and I am really happy with him.”

The older milers continue to beat each other in turn, but veteran journeymen horses have managed to win this for the past two years in the 7-year-olds Here Comes When (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) and Lightning Spear (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) and Lord Glitters (Fr) (Whipper) and Zabeel Prince (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) take up the mantle this time. Both Group 1 winners at or around this trip, they have been ignored by the punters largely due to the fact that they have been exposed in unfavourable conditions. Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum's Zabeel Prince in particular is a fascinating contender over a distance at which he was second in the G2 Joel S. at Newmarket in September.

Roger Varian said of Zabeel Prince, “I don't think it's gone his way over 10 furlongs. Unfortunately I've run over that trip at two of the stiffest tracks in the country, in Ascot and Sandown. I still feel he might get an easy 10, but we are bringing him back for the time being. At Ascot the ground was bottomless and in the Eclipse nothing was going better two out, but he got stopped in his run so Andrea [Atzeni] had to check him which lost him his momentum. You don't find easy Group 1s and the Sussex is certainly no exception, but I think he's still in great form. He deserves his chance and I think he's capable of running a big race.”

In the five-furlong G3 Molecomb S., Liberty Beach (GB) (Cable Bay {Ire}) bids to confirm the impression that she created with an emphatic success in the Listed Dragon S. at Sandown July 5. Her trainer John Quinn is a master when it comes to bringing smart 2-year-olds to these signature races, had the winner of Tuesday's maiden here and is happy with his latest filly sensation. “She's been a revelation and this looked the logical place to come after Sandown,” he commented. “We've been very pleased with her and she seems in very good form, but this is another step up for her. All these races she has to run in are very competitive, but we're happy with her and we're hoping for a very big run. She's won on quick ground twice, but she coped with very soft ground at Ascot so you can't say she's ground-dependent.”

Richard Ravin's Maven (American Pharoah) held on to win Chantilly's G3 Prix du Bois over this trip last time June 29 and has to improve off that. Wesley Ward said, “I know they called it good-to-soft at Chantilly and, while I wasn't there, I don't see how it could have been because they moved the meeting back a few hours as it was so hot. He really wouldn't want much rain. The horse is in great form. He's been training really well, so we've just got to hope there's not much rain. The same thing happened a couple of years ago when we wanted to run Happy Like a Fool–the heavens opened. We've got the right man on board anyway, the magic man Frankie, so we'll see what happens.”

Clive Cox saddled a top juvenile prospect in Positive (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) to be second in Tuesday's G2 Vintage S. and supplies Hand On My Heart (GB) (Iffraaj {GB}) for the Molecomb. She took a Windsor conditions event on the same day that Maven captured the Bois and is well-regarded by connections. “Clive has always spoken highly of her since day one,” Sam Hoskins, representing owners Hot To Trot Racing, said. “We've been lucky enough to be associated with her two sisters–Heartache who won the Queen Mary and Heartwarming who is very talented. She wouldn't want too much rain, but from what Clive is saying it won't be lack of ability that will beat her. In saying that, it is a hot race and Liberty Beach will be very hard to beat. We've definitely got an each-way shout and it's great to have Ryan Moore on board as well.”

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