Is Baaeed a Group 1 horse in the making?

Friday: 2.25 Goodwood
Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes (Group 3) | 1m | 3yo | ITV/RTV

There have been only 13 horses achieve Racing Post Ratings higher than 121 in Britain this year and 11 were either winning a Group 1 or had previously recorded a top-level victory.

Three-time Group 3 winner Al Aasy is one of the exceptions and Baaeed, who represents the same Shadwell Estate and William Haggas owner-trainer combination, is the notable other.

Baaeed achieved an RPR of 122 when landing a Listed race by four lengths at Newmarket's July meeting last time and is already 10lb better than the average Group 3 scorer on RPRs.   

An RPR of 121 is the median for all Group 1 winners in Britain and Ireland since 2008, so Baaeed is a top-level performer if his last-time-out rating is to be believed. Furthermore, if you'd backed every horse who ran to 121 or higher on their latest start in races below Group 2 level since the start of 2019, you'd have found five winners from nine runners (55 per cent).

Those scorers returned at odds of 2-9, 1-4, 2-5, 4-9 and 1-14, though, so the market has the class angle covered and a £1 bet on all nine qualifiers would have yielded a loss of £2.61.

El Drama has competed in Group 1 company on his last two starts and finished well beaten both times. He isn't a top-level performer, but he is better than the average Group 3 winner on RPRs.

He achieved a figure of 114 when last of four in the Eclipse at Sandown last time and backing all horses who ran to that figure or higher on their previous start in races below Group 2 level since the start of 2019 would have found 41 winners from 125 runners (33 per cent). That is profitable too, returning £6.22 to £1 level stakes.

Goodwood not Tokyo for Olympic legend Todd
The New Zealand eventing team got their Tokyo Olympics off and running at half past midnight on Friday, and it is the first time since the Moscow Games in 1980 that Sir Mark Todd, a two-time gold medallist who has been knighted for services to equestrian sport, will not spearhead the team.

Instead Sir Mark will be at Goodwood to saddle Tasman Bay in the Group 3 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes. He retired from eventing for the second time after the Rio Olympics – he previously retired after the Sydney Games in 2000 but coached the New Zealand team in Athens four years later before making a return for Beijing.

"It does feel a little bit odd, it's the first Olympics since 1980 I haven't had anything to do with it," he said. "I've not watched a lot yet, but I might have to keep track of the eventing.

"I've been fine until it started, but it does feel a little bit odd not to be there, it's been a lifetime really, but Tasman Bay's a good distraction."

On Tasman Bay's chances, he added: "The horse is very well, it's probably a bit short for him, but it's a stepping-stone to France in a couple of weeks when he'll go for the Prix Guillaume d'Ornano. He should run a bold race."

What they say
William Haggas, trainer of Baaeed
I wouldn't want it to rain. It depends which forecast you look at, but there's rain around and if they get a good dump of it I'd be sceptical about running, but otherwise he's fine. He's looked good so far, this is another test for him.

Roger Varian, trainer of El Drama
He hasn't done a lot wrong in his career and I would put a line through the French Derby as I'm not sure what went wrong there but he didn't finish his race off. He didn't disgrace himself in the Eclipse behind three top-class horses and I think the form of the Dee Stakes earlier in the year is strong. We're looking forward to bringing him back to a mile and more rain would not inconvenience him. We'll give a lot of respect to William Haggas's horse at the top of the market, but we'd be very hopeful he'll run a good race.

Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Khartoum
He ran very well the last day at the Curragh and we think this trip suits him well.

Marcus Tregoning, trainer of Perotto
He's gone up to a rating of 106, so we're a bit in between, and he has to have a crack at this level at some stage. I'd rather the ground was a bit quicker than it's going to be, but he came out of the Britannia well. I was a bit disappointed last time as it didn't fall his way – if things had gone in our favour he might have been second. I hope they go a reasonable pace so he can drop in and come home with a wet sail.

Richard Fahey, trainer of Rhythm Master
He’s going back up to a mile. PJ McDonald has been mad keen to do so and I can see why – he was on his head all the way in the Jersey Stakes last time and all he did was gallop. I hope the ground doesn't dry up too much for him – the slower the better in his case – and it's a warm race so he'll need his A-game.

Oisin Murphy, rider of Tactical
He's a tough horse who goes on any ground and his work at home's been good. He's come out of Ascot fine so I'm looking forward to getting back on him.