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Breaking news – Too Darn Hot set for stunning showdown with Magna Grecia in Irish 2000 Guineas

Jonathan Vine 23 May 2019
Too Darn Hot winning the Dewhurst in 2018.

Racing fans rejoiced this morning, as Too Darn Hot was confirmed in the final field the Irish 2000 Guineas, setting up a stunning showdown with British Guineas winner, Magna Grecia.

Following that narrow defeat on his reappearance in the Dante, John Gosden had initially earmarked the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot as Too Darn Hot’s next assignment. Yet, at the Breakfast With The Stars Event at Epsom earlier this week, Gosden shocked reporters by stating there was a chance last year’s stand-out juvenile could head to the Curragh this weekend. 

"He's a horse with a great constitution and he came out of the Dante a very fresh colt.” Gosden reported. “I couldn't be more pleased with the way he came out of the race."

Despite his trainers’ optimism, I was still sceptical about the chances of Too Darn Hot appearing at the Curragh, due to the fact he endured a hard race at York on the back of an impromptu lay-off. However, Gosden’s words became reality this morning, as Too Darn Hot featured in the final list of entries for Saturday Irish 2000 Guineas, with Frankie Dettori already confirmed in the saddle.

In Too Darn Hot’s absence, Magna Grecia snatched Classic glory at Newmarket earlier this month, powering clear of a talented field to hand Aidan O’Brien yet another 2000 Guineas triumph. Magna Grecia will now have to face an unexpected foe in last year’s Dewhurst winner as he attempts to land the Guineas double and the bookmakers are finding it very hard to split the two leading candidates.

At the beginning of the week, Magna Grecia was the odds-on favourite, with Too Darn Hot as long as 5/1. The disparity between the two has lessen slowly since Tuesday. Once Too Darn Hot was confirmed, Ladbrokes make the British raider a 7/4 shot, with Magna Grecia just shading favouritism on price of 5/4.

Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes said: “The Irish 2000 Guineas is shaping up to be a brilliant clash and although we favour Magna Grecia now, Too Darn Hot will have an army of fans and come race day, we imagine it will be very hard to separate them.”

Behind the two protagonists, Newmarket third Skardu is the only other horse sitting on a single-figure price. Fellow British raider, Phoenix Of Spain is a general 14/1 shot as he makes his long-awaited reappearance, with Decrypt and Shelir flying the flag for two of Ireland’s less-celebrated trainers, Dermot Weld and Paddy Twomey.

*Irish 2000 Guineas (25/6/19 Curragh) betting with Ladbrokes*
5/4 Magna Grecia, 7/4 Too Darn Hot, 15/2 Skardu, 14/1 Phoenix Of Spain, 14/1 Decrypt, 14/1 Shelir, 33/1 bar

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Breaking news – Too Darn Hot set for stunning showdown with Magna Grecia in Irish 2000 Guineas

Racing fans rejoiced this morning, as Too Darn Hot was confirmed in the final field the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh on Saturday 25th May.

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