Too Darn Hot ruled out of the Derby after surrendering unbeaten record to Telecaster in Dante Stakes
Too Darn Hot ruled out of the Derby after surrendering unbeaten record to Telecaster in the Dante Stakes at York
- Hughie Morrison must decide whether to pay £85,000 to supplement Telecaster
- The colt was pulled out of Derby in March because he was deemed too immature
- Too Darn Hot lost unbeaten record and directed back to a mile by John Gosden
Aidan O’Brien’s Japan was beaten in the Dante Stakes at York on Thursday but there is a good chance the trainer’s hand in the Investec Derby was still strengthened.
Japan finished fourth in the Epsom trial but the winner, Telecaster, needs to be supplemented to the Derby line-up — something that was far from certain after the race.
And runner-up Too Darn Hot, ridden by Frankie Dettori, lost his unbeaten record and was directed back to a mile by his trainer John Gosden, with the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot next month his aim.
Too Darn Hot and Frankie Dettori (right) was beaten by Oisin Murphy and Telecaster (left)
Telecaster, ridden by Oisin Murphy, is 6-1 for the Derby. But if his team decide not to pay the £85,000 to re-enter a colt who was pulled out the race in March because it was felt he was too immature to be ready for the exacting challenge over Epsom’s undulating Downs, the premier Classic of the season will seem more like a private Ballydoyle match-up.
If Telecaster is not added to the race it will leave Andrew Balding’s Bangkok, who beat Telecaster at Doncaster in March, as the only non-O’Brien runner in the top five of the Derby betting.
After Telecaster had beaten Too Darn Hot a length having raced in the first two throughout, trainer Hughie Morrison was cautious but positive about a Derby challenge.
He said: ‘I have had nothing like him before. He is obviously a special horse. It’s 16 days to the Derby. It’s a big call but you would be put off less going to a Derby than you would other races.’
Hughie Morrison must decide whether to pay £85,000 to supplement Telecaster for the Derby
Less positive about an Epsom challenge was owner Mark Weinfeld, who said: ‘We will have to see how the horse is but the Derby may come too soon for him. He has had quite a hard race and is still quite green. We could spoil him by running him in the Derby.’
The Epsom dream is over for Too Darn Hot and his owner, composer Lord Lloyd-Webber. Gosden had warned he would need the race after a leg injury disrupted his training. He had also said his instincts were that the son of Dubawi was not a Derby horse. Those instincts proved correct and Too Darn Hot was a spent force in the latter strides of the mile-and-a-quarter contest.
Dettori said: ‘He’s blessed with lots of speed but the last furlong was a long way for him.’