Too Darn Hot emerged as potentially the best of a very strong crop of European juvenile colts with a decisive victory in the G1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes at the weekend and the unbeaten son of Dubawi is now the leading contender for the Cartier-Two-Year-Old Colt Award at this year's Cartier Racing Awards.
Homebred by Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber's Watership Down Stud, the Frankie Dettori-ridden Too Darn Hot (56 points) quickened strongly to go clear in the seven-furlong highlight of Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket on October 13.
He triumphed in a top-quality field that also included category leader on points, the Martyn Meade-trained Advertise (72), beaten two and three quarter lengths into second, with Coolmore's Anthony Van Dyck (48), another length and a quarter back in third.
It was a fourth straight win for the John Gosden-trained colt, who had previously gained an equally impressive win in the G2 Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes at Doncaster as well as two wide-margin victories at Sandown Park.
Too Darn Hot's main challenger for the Cartier-Two-Year-Old Colt is likely to be another son of Dubawi who has yet to taste defeat, Quorto (48), trained for Godolphin by Charlie Appleby, who had Anthony Van Dyck a length and a quarter in arrears when capturing the seven-furlong G1 Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at the Curragh, Ireland, in September.
European horseracing's top awards are delivered through a tried and tested combination of points earned by horses in Pattern races (30%), combined at the end of season with the opinions of a panel of racing journalists/handicappers (35%) and votes from readers of Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph plus ITV Racing viewers (35%).
The participation of the public plays a crucial role in determining the winners of each year's Cartier Racing Awards and gives horseracing fans the chance to put forward their favourite horses in a meaningful way. Voting opens on October 24 via www.cartierracingawards.co.uk and closes at noon, UK time, on November 6.
The 28th Cartier Racing Awards will be presented at a glittering ceremony before an invited audience of up to 300 at the Dorchester Hotel, London, England, on the evening of Tuesday, November 13, 2018.
The longstanding and prestigious awards were established in 1991 to reward excellence in horseracing. There are eight equine awards, ranging from the Cartier Horse Of The Year to the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt and Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly.
In addition to the equine awards, the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit goes to the person or persons who, in the opinion of the special 15-strong Cartier Jury, has/have done the most for European racing and/or breeding either over their lifetime or within the past 12 months. The 10 latest recipients have been Sir Michael Stoute, Aidan O'Brien, Jack Berry, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Jim Bolger, Team Frankel, Barry Hills, Richard Hannon, John Oxx and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Further G1 action at Newmarket's Dubai Future Champions Festival was provided by the bet365 Fillies' Mile, in which Ruler Of The World filly Iridessa (32) provided Irish-based trainer Joseph O'Brien with a first British G1 success on October 12.
Iridessa boosted the form of current Cartier-Two-Year-Old Filly points' leader Skitter Scatter (60), trained by Patrick Prendergast, who had Chantal Regalado-Gonzalez's filly back in fifth when taking the G2 Debutante Stakes at the Curragh in August.
Godolphin's fine year continued with the international racing operation recording a 25th G1 victory of 2018 when Benbatl (90) gamely won the Ladbrokes Stakes at Caulfield, Australia, on October 13 for UK-based trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
The four-year-old is now set to tackle on the world's best horse Winx in the G1 Cox Plate on October 27 and victory against the mighty mare will see the Dubawi colt enter calculations for the Cartier Older Horse Award and maybe more.
The QIPCO British Champions Day fixture at Ascot on Saturday, October 20, could have a pivotal effect on the Cartier Racing Awards, with host of leading contenders set to clash on a star-studded card.
The John Gosden-trained Roaring Lion (174), owned by Qatar Racing, currently heads the Cartier Horse Of The Year and Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt standings and the three-time G1 winner in 2018 will bid to increase his lead in both categories when lining up in either the G1 QIPCO Champion Stakes or the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Sponsored By QIPCO).
His rivals in the 10-furlong QIPCO Champion Stakes could include the four-year-old's stable companion Cracksman (88), with the Anthony Oppenheimer-owned and bred Frankel colt being impressive winner of the race 12 months ago, and the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Crystal Ocean (60), who was beaten a neck in the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By QIPCO) at Ascot in July.
Equally formidable opposition awaits in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Sponsored By QIPCO), with Laurens (152), currently second in the standings for Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly with four G1 wins this season to her name, having been supplemented for the mile contest.
Recoletos (104) and Lightning Spear (76), who both feature on the points' leader-board for the Cartier Older Horse Award, are also due to line up in the same race.
Enable (56), the 2017 & 2018 G1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner, may not figure on the points' leader-boards but, because of the unique way the Cartier Racing Awards are decided, is in with a chance of Cartier Horse Of The Year and Cartier Older Horse glory. She is also due to be racing again this year - in the G1 Longines Turf at the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs on November 3.
Coronet (60) and Kitesurf (56) will be looking to further their claims for the Cartier Older Horse Award in the G1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, with the duo set to take on Too Darn Hot's three-year-old full-sister Lah Ti Dar (16).
Victory in the G1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint could prove decisive in the race to be crowned Cartier Sprinter, with Brando (48), Sands Of Mali (40), The Tin Man (32) and Harry Angel (16) all featuring among the five-day confirmations.
Stradivarius (112) holds a commanding advantage in the Cartier Stayer category and this year's G1 Gold Cup hero may have a couple of three-year-old challengers in the G2 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup - the Aidan O'Brien-trained pair of Flag Of Honour (56) and Kew Gardens (48).