John Gosden has revealed a decision on Too Darn Hot’s participation in the Qipco 2000 Guineas could be made early next week.
The Dubawi colt was the undoubted star of the juvenile division last season — winning each of his four starts including a brilliant victory in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October.
He has spent the winter at the head of ante-post lists for both the Guineas and the Derby at Epsom, but there was a bump in the road last week after Too Darn Hot was found to have heat in a splint bone — a setback which ruled him out of last Saturday’s Greenham Stakes at Newbury.
Speaking yesterday, Gosden said he was hopeful Too Darn Hot would be fit to run in the first colts’ Classic of the season on May 4, but expects to have a clearer idea after the weekend.
He’s fine and coming along the right way. We’re going to make a decision, probably, just after the weekend.
“The heat is pretty well out of it altogether now, but I just want to be content that I’ve got the two clear weeks in which to bring him up to the race (2000 Guineas).
“I’ll be consulting with the owners. I’m very much hoping he will run at this stage.
“I think the decision needs to be left until just after the weekend and then we’ll know exactly where we stand.”
Gosden has also revealed he is eyeing the Pavilion Stakes at Ascot as a likely comeback target for the long-absent Calyx.
The Kingman colt looked every inch a future superstar when winning the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot last June, but missed the rest of the season through injury.
Gosden reports Calyx in rude health ahead of his return to action, but feels it would be unfair to ask his charge to run in the Qipco 2000 Guineas first time out and views the Pavilion Stakes on May 1 as a more suitable starting point.
“He’s in good form and is getting close. I don’t think you’d bring him straight to a Guineas, but I’m very happy with him and he’s probably about two weeks off a race now,” said Gosden.
“I think he’ll be put in both the Commonwealth Cup and the St James’s Palace (at Royal Ascot). We’ll discuss it with the owner (Khalid Abdullah) and everybody as to which way to go.
“You might want to start him out over a little shorter. He’s been off a very long time since sustaining an injury last July, so to that extent it would make an awful lot of sense to start over the six (furlongs) at Ascot in the Pavilion Stakes.”
Gosden also issued an update on his potential Derby candidate Dubai Warrior.
The three-year-old made a big impression on his only previous outing at Chelmsford, but has since suffered a setback.
Asked whether he could run in next month’s Dante Stakes at York, the trainer added: “It might come a bit soon. He got a nasty little crack in his hoof and we’re having to let that grow out a bit and then we’ll be in action.
“It slightly came out of the blue from nowhere and we’ll just wait to get the horse 100% right before we make any firm plans.”
The undoubted star of the Gosden string is, of course, the brilliant Enable.
The dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine remains set to return to action in June and Gosden already has one eye on a potential clash with Japanese superstar filly Almond Eye in Paris later in the year.
He said: “Enable is fine and cantering away right now. She’ll be easing into some faster work soon.
“You’ll see her in June at either Epsom (Coronation Cup) or Royal Ascot, then it will hopefully be the King George and there’s a race at the end of the year that’s being watched — but the competition is getting stronger by the day.
“I thought Almond Eye was magnificent (in Dubai) — the way she played with that field and quickened. I hope it’s a very wet Longchamp, because she goes well on fast ground, but we don’t know about Almond Eye on soft.
“With the fillies, these clashes are fantastic for the sport. You’re not sitting there worrying about stallion value. I would absolutely welcome that race — on soft ground.”