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Juvenile rankings: Too Darn close to call

J A McGrath

Godolphin interest in Saturday’s G1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket is immense even though none of the seven runners carries the stable’s famous royal blue colours.

Two weeks ago, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and Charlie Appleby decided Quorto was finished for the season, thus the attractive Dubawi colt was destined to miss the Dewhurst.

But there is still an excellent chance to accurately assess the current crop of two-year-old colts — even in the absence of the G1 National Stakes winner — based on what is played out on the Rowley Mile this weekend.

It is interesting that three of the colts, who finished behind Quorto at the Curragh, now line up against the unbeaten Too Darn Hot, who looked highly promising when taking the G3 Solario Stakes at Sandown and the G2 Champagne at Doncaster.

The Ballydoyle trio, Anthony Van Dyck (second), Christmas (third) and Mohawk (fourth), all have another crack at a G1 prize, but the John Gosden-trained Too Darn Hot is expected to prove their most formidable rival this time.

Too Darn Hot is by the celebrated Darley stallion Dubawi out of the well-performed Singspiel mare Dar Re Mi, and he will be out to enhance his reputation and improve his rating in this intriguing race.

The result should give handicappers a fine opportunity to line up the National Stakes form against that of Too Darn Hot and will almost certainly shape the final list of juvenile rankings.

The Juddmonte colt Sangarius, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, as well as talented Advertise, prepared by Martyn Meade, add depth to the line-up.