Darley’s star shuttler Too Darn Hot set to be in strong demand at Inglis’ Great Southern Sale

As the name suggests, there are few stallions burning brighter at present than Darley’s star shuttler Too Darn Hot (Dubawi), and he is set to be in strong demand at the Inglis Great Southern Sale in Melbourne this week.

And in the thick of that action will be progressive Victorian stud Blue Gum Farm, which has numbers on its side in terms of weanlings by the Darley shuttler, with the farm set to offer three of the stallions ten listed weanlings at the sale this year. 

Blue Gum is taking comfortably its largest Great Southern weanling draft to date in the two-day auction at Oaklands Junction from Thursday, with its 29 weanlings one of the strongest representations of any vendor.

Around the top of the farm’s pack will be a pair of brown Too Darn Hot colts offered for the retiring Darren and Liz Dance of Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock.

Lot 354 is the second foal of the unraced seven-year-old Smarter Than (Ghibellines), a half-sister to dual stakes-winner Yogi (Raise The Flag). Lot 383 is the fourth living foal of the 11-year-old Tennessee Gold (Lonhro), a half-sister to Listed winner Pergram (General Nediym), from the same recent family as stakes winner and the now Clear Mountain Fairview-based sire Sooboog (Snitzel) and his Group 1-winning sister Snitzerland (Snitzel).

“They’re both lovely horses and they’ve been very well inspected, so we’re hoping they sell well,” said Sean Dingwall, who owns Blue Gum along with his wife Cathy and Trilogy Racing’s Jason and Mel Stenning.

Blue Gum’s third Too Darn Hot, offered for another client, is Lot 105, a richly-coloured bay/brown first foal of five-year-old New Zealand mare Dragon’s Kiss (Divine Prophet). The colt’s unraced third dam Youthful Presence (Dehere) threw no fewer than four stakes-winners, including ATC Epsom Handicap (Gr 1, 1600m) hero Hauraki (Reset) and South Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2500m) victor Kidnapped (Viscount).

Too Darn Hot has exploded from the starting gates as one of the most captivating immediate shuttle success stories of recent years.

The eight-year-old has a lock on Australia’s first-season sires’ title, with his progeny’s $3,477,125 million earnings almost $1.6 million higher than second-placed Tassort (Brazen Beau). That lead will leap further if his star offspring Broadsiding claims a second top-flight victory in Saturday’s $1 million JJ Atkins (Gr 1, 1600m) at Eagle Farm, having taken out his first elite-level triumph in the ATC Champagne Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) in April.

Too Darn Hot is also in an ultra-impressive second spot on the two-year-old sires’ table, behind Written Tycoon (Iglesia), sire of Golden Slipper (Gr 1, 1200m) winner Lady Of Camelot. Both share top billing for winners, with 12, along with Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice). This comes from a first-season crop of 85 live foals for Too Darn Hot, compared with Written Tycoon’s 153 and Snitzel’s 122.

In Britain, the triple Group 1 winner finished second among first season sires last year behind fellow Darley shuttler Blue Point (Shamardal), but equal-top with him in terms of stakes-winners with three, while ranking fifth among two-year-old sires.

So far in 2024, that pair are again running in the same order atop the second season sires’ table, and have two black type victors apiece. They’re also running a close one-two on that table in Ireland, although Too Darn Hot has had just eight runners to Blue Point’s 17.

“Too Darn Hot has surprised everybody in getting so many two-year-old winners here,” Dingwall said. “And obviously Broadsiding coming out and doing what he’s doing, winning a Group 1 in Sydney and going to Brisbane where’s a short-priced favourite for another one, underpins it all.

“He had another stakes-winner in Europe on Sunday [Lava Stream in Listed class at Goodwood], and he’s had 12 two-year-old winners here from 31 runners, and that’s just from a crop of 85 foals.

“He’ll be the champion first-season sire, and in most regards you’d expect his progeny to kick on at three.

“And the way he’s going, it will bring all the traders in at this sale, because he’s going to be a very popular stallion at next year’s yearling sales.”

Dingwall is also excited about Lot 148 from Blue Gum’s draft, a colt by Swettenham Stud flagbearer Toronado (High Chaparral). He’s the fourth living foal of city-winning and dual stakes-placed 15-year-old Gig (Commands), herself a half-sister to triple Group 1 winner Happy Clapper (Teofilo).

“He’s an outstanding type, he’s got a good pedigree and he’s been very popular on inspections,” Dingwall said.

Blue Gum also offers one of eight first-croppers at the sale by young Coolmore stallion Home Affairs (I Am Invincible) in Lot 290, a colt from well-related triple winner Peace Of Mind (Bernardini).

“He’ll be a very popular horse that people will look at because going to the yearling sales next year, I’d say Home Affairs and Stay Inside will be the two gun first-season sires,” Dingwall said.

Eight weanlings by Stay Inside (Extreme Choice) will also go under the hammer, including Blue Gum’s Lot 204, a filly out of La Chevalee (Written Tycoon), a five-time city winner from 1212 metres to 2000 metres.

From Blue Gum-bred stock, Dingwall is also looking forward to how the buying bench responds to Lot 238 – a Toronado filly out of Maisaa (Zoffany), a half-sister to the stakes-winning Muntaseera (I Am Invincible).

Meanwhile, the farm will also offer Lot 297, a filly by Lovatsville stud’s Royal Meeting (Invincible Spirit) who Dingwall hopes can capitalise on the buzz created around that imported stallion by his Blue Diamond (Gr 1, 1200m)-winning filly Hayasugi, who heads up the stallion’s two winners from only eight runners this term.

“One thing about Royal Meeting is he seems to throw a very distinct type and they’re all very similar, and this filly’s no different,” Dingwall said. “She’s out of a good quality mare who’s thrown a city winner. She’s got size and scope and is very athletic, with a lot of quality.”

Blue Gum also offers, as agent, a second Royal Meeting weanling in Lot 241, a colt out of Matanzas (Teofilo) who won twice over 1000 metres, showing the versatility of her stallion, who has also sired three Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) winners.

Dingwall is tipping Great Southern to follow in the buoyant style of last month’s Inglis Australian Weanling Sale in Sydney and the Magic Millions Gold Coast National Weanling Sale.

“Both Sydney and Gold Coast were very strong for the right horse, and I think likewise this week, the horses people want to buy will sell very well,” Dingwall said.

Great Southern has 436 weanlings catalogued, with other in-demand sires represented including Frankel (Galileo), I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit), Zoustar (Northern Meteor) and Wootton Bassett (Iffraaj).

Rosemont Stud offers the lone Frankel in Lot 7, a filly first foal from Irish bred US Grade 3 winner Abby Hatcher (Acclamation).

Aside from Home Affairs and Stay Inside, first-season sires represented include Palace Pier (Kingman), Profiteer (Capitalist) and Wooded (Wootton Bassett).

Great Southern has also catalogued 67 broodmares, including mares covered by stallions such as Alabama Express (Redoute’s Choice), Blue Point, Grunt (O’Reilly), Harry Angel (Dark Angel), Jacquinot (Rubick), Ole Kirk (Written Tycoon) and The Autumn Sun (Redoute’s Choice).

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