SOME people say I’m prone to exaggeration.
Of course that’s ridiculous, so don’t for one minute think I’m going over board when I suggest we might see the best racehorse in the world at Newbury today!
I’m talking, natuurlik, about the monster Baaeed, who returns to action on ITV in the Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge, part of the British Champions Series.
Baaeed is unbeaten in six races, and is bred to be a champion by the brilliant Sea The Stars and out of a Kingmambo mare from the family of Guineas, Derby and King George hero Nashwan.
Op die oomblik, it’s horses abroad that dominate the world rankings.
Leading the way is Hong Kong beast Golden Sixty, US Breeders’ Cup winner Life is Good and Australian sprinter Nature Strip.
Baaeed doesn’t currently get ranked, as the William Haggas-trained colt has yet to be seen this season. But considering he’s already got a mark of 125 it really isn’t madness to think he might just be the planet’s most talented racehorse.
Ottoman Fleet NAP
The rise of Baaeed has been something to behold. The colt hadn’t even seen a racecourse this time last year, but he made a big impression first time out at Leicester in June 2021, winning on debut despite starting slowly and having a lot to do with a furlong to run.
On the back of that he followed up in a novice at Newmarket and then a Listed race at the same track, slamming Maximal by four lengths.
It was Goodwood next for the Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes and a near seven length thrashing of El Drama. That day we all knew we had seen something special.
And special Baeed proved himself, taking the Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp – defeating Keeneland’s Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Order of Australia – before heading to Ascot for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
In what looked a match with Jacques le Marois winner Palace Pier, Baeed came out well on top despite scoring by just a neck.
Die meeste gelees in Horse Racing
This afternoon Baeed faces eight rivals in a race that was won by Palace Pier last year and by champions like Frankel, Russian Rhythm, Cape Cross, Selkirk, Kris and Brigadier Gerard.
Opposition includes the tough Mother Earth, die 2021 1000 Guineas winner, and Alcohol Free, who was fifth in that race but went on to land the Coronation and Sussex Stakes.
Danny Tudhope is an interesting booking by Saeed bin Suroor for Real World, who can be forgiven his last two defeats away from the turf. Last season he looked like a Group 1 perd.
Egter, Baaeed should provide Haggas with his first Lockinge and gobble this lot up if he’s a potential champion.
Speaking of potential rockets, Desert Crown looked a weapon when running away with the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York on Thursday.
The Group 2 trial for Epsom’s Derby is usually informative and it was hard not to be impressed by the son of Nathaniel, who is out of a mare by Green Desert, a terrific sprinter for Desert Crown’s trainer Sir Michael Stoute.
There was little positivity in the market for Desert Crown on the day as he drifted to 7-2JF with runner-up Royal Patronage, but few could deny his over three-length success was a joy to watch.
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Stoute gives very little away and has almost become a recluse in recent seasons.
It would be fantastic if he really came out and told us much about the training of Desert Crown and compared him to his former Derby heroes in Shergar, Shahrastani, Kris Kin, North Light and Workforce.
The Newmarket trainer is worshipped by racing fans, and I hope he understands us mere mortals want to learn from such a legend of the game.
Jockey Richard Kingscote can now dream of Derby glory. That is what he hoped might happen when he left Manor House Stables, then the home of Tom Dascombe, for Stoute in the belief a good horse might pop up. It has.
This is not only a major boost for Kingscote as a rider, and a talented one who deserves the break, but all his family as a whole.
In October of last year Kingscote’s brother, Karl, suffered serious spinal injuries in a mountain biking accident. While riding alone, the fall left him with a fractured spine, sternum and ribs plus major damage to his spinal column.
It was the worst possible news. But a Derby victory would give the Kingscote’s a massive boost in every sense.
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