The first weekend’s racing in September can sometimes lack the quality the flat season usually offers, but it was a very different feel this time around. With some impressive two-year-old performances and course specialists striking again, here are the three weekend eye-catchers.
Too Darn Hot – 188Bet Solario Stakes
It’s fitting to start this piece with the feature race of the day, and the race of the day brought about the performance of the day from TOO DARN HOT. John Gosden’s charge came into the race with a lofty reputation courtesy of his maiden success at Sandown, he stepped up to another level at the Esher venue again with an impressive four-length victory in this group-three contest. The regally-bred colt’s performance was so impressive that bookmakers placed him as favourite for both next year’s 2000 Guineas and Derby. His next stop on the classic trail is likely to be the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, but the victory at the weekend set him out as one of the best two-year-olds we have seen so far this season.
Ten Sovereigns – John Sisk & Son Round Tower Stakes
Just ten minutes before Too Darn Hot’s success, an equally-impressive performance occurred the other side of the Irish Sea as TEN SOVEREIGNS coasted to glory in this group-three contest. After routing his opposition in a 25-runner maiden a week ago, Ten Sovereigns found the step-up to group company to be of little problem at all in a near four-length success over some useful yardsticks. The victory highlighted his glowing reputation and placed him straight at the top of the pecking order at Aidan O’Brien’s yard. The Middle Park Stakes is on the agenda next for the son of No Nay Never. While he may look to be a sprinter at heart, the possibility of a clash with Too Darn Hot at Newmarket will certainly wet the appetite over the winter.
Pour La Victoire – cinestock.co.uk Drive-In Cinema Handicap
We go to the other end of the spectrum with a veteran handicapper this time, and POUR LA VICTOIRE completed a course and distance hat-trick and a ninth success overall at Brighton. The eight-year-old, ridden by promising apprentice Poppy Bridgwater, knuckled down under pressure from a furlong out to add to his near-perfect record at the Sussex venue. It’s takes a specialist horse to win and run as well as he does at Brighton, and with the impeccable record of Pour La Victoire, punters may well want to keep him on their side when he inevitably returns to that venue.