World Leader Baaeed Set to Light Up Goodwood

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Baaeed | PA Media Print

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The unbeaten Baaeed (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), the world's top-rated turf horse, will return to the racecourse on July 27 for the G1 Qatar Sussex S., in which he looks set to face the 2,000 Guineas and St James's Palace S winner Coroebus (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}).

The clash of the Shadwell and Godolphin stars will be one of the highlights of the five-day Glorious Goodwood meeting, which gets underway next Tuesday.

William Haggas, who has trained Baaeed to eight straight victories, including four Group 1 wins, said on Tuesday in Newmarket at a media event organised by Goodwood Racecourse, “We are all set to go with Baaeed, hopefully. He worked this morning and, provided everything is ok over the next couple of days, we are away and will see what evolves.”

He continued: “Coroebus is obviously a high-class horse. Two of ours [My Prospero and Maljoom] finished third and fourth behind him in the St James's Palace S., not beaten far. I was not that impressed with him–and I have to be careful because he is a very smart horse–but I don't think he was at his best that day. I think Maljoom, and I don't think this is just trainer talk, would have won in another couple of strides. At the moment, there is a fair bit of distance between Baaeed and Maljoom.”

The trainer indicated that Baaeed, who has only ever raced at a mile, will step up to 10 furlongs for his next start after Goodwood.

“I don't think Baaeed has much to prove but his pedigree smacks of further,” Haggas said. “He relaxes so well, he has a great mind, and I would love to see him over further at York in Juddmonte International. I remember so vividly when Frankel won that race, it was like a piece of work for him. Anyone who was there, it made your hairs stand up because he was imperious. I hope that Baaeed would be able to travel as strongly and then be able to use his turn of foot. I am very keen to have a go.

“We are just starting to say amongst ourselves in the yard that we need to prepare for life after him–which I know sounds a bit pathetic–because he won't be around for us to enjoy next year. Finding another one is the target.”

Haggas is also likely to run Cheveley Park Stud's Sacred (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}) in the G2 World Pool Lennox S.

“[It] looks the obvious race for Sacred, as she likes seven furlongs and fast ground. We are going to leave her in the Qatar Sussex S. at the owner's request, just in case the race cuts up, but seven is her best trip,” he said.

“We will run only one in the Qatar Nassau S. and it will either be Lilac Road (Ire), who wants fast ground, or My Astra (Ire), who can't have it soft enough. I suspect it will be Lilac Road, because we have had this in mind since she won the Middleton. It is her part-owner Julia Aisbitt's birthday on Nassau day, so this looks a good target.”

As well as the Lope De Vega (Ire) filly My Astra, Haggas also hopes to run Sea La Rosa (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), for the same owner, Sunderland Holdings, in the G3 Qatar Lillie Langtry S.

“She won over a mile and five furlongs at Lingfield last year, so she will stay the trip well. She is very tough and very hardy, but I can't see anything beating Free Wind if she puts up a performance similar to Haydock,” he added.

Baaeed will share top billing at Goodwood with Bjorn Nielsen's star stayer Stradivarius (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), who will have the spotlight firmly on him on the opening day of the meeting when he is set to line up for the G1 Qatar Goodwood Cup for the fifth time. He notched his first of four wins in the contest in 2017 and missed last year's race after heavy rain turned the ground against him.

His co-trainer John Gosden said: “Stradivarius is happy. He has maintained his enthusiasm for the game throughout and enjoys his training. We couldn't really be more pleased with him for a chap at this stage of his career, so we are very much looking forward to it.”

He added, “You are very lucky to have a horse or a racemare like that ever come to you, and then to enjoy their longevity and their amazing consistency at that top level. That is testament to the horse, the breeder, and to have that constitution is pretty remarkable. That is probably what has been so fulfilling and the fact he is rather like Enable was. Expressive, rather outgoing, joyous.”

Reflecting on the remarkable career of the 8-year-old, who will be ridden by Andrea Atzeni, Gosden added: “His first Goodwood Cup and his first Gold Cup would be the highlights. Winning the Goodwood Cup as a 3-year-old and then the Gold Cup as a 4-year-old. He has built on that down the years. There aren't many Flat horses who stay around like him. I always remember when Rachel and I came back from America.

“It is pretty set who the key horses are in the Goodwood Cup. We're happy at two miles or two and a half miles. Stradivarius would run a big race over a mile and a half. So, to that extent, I have been pleased with him all along and we're looking forward to it. He is quick on his feet and agile. That always helps around Goodwood. It is a downward, turning track and he probably enjoys the twists and turns of it. He probably finds it quite entertaining, like a fairground ride.”

Goodwood will also see the return of Imad Al Sagar's G1 Prix de Diane winner Nashwa (GB) (Frankel {GB}), who is set to line up for the G1 Qatar Nassau S. on the Thursday of the meeting, while Free Wind (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) is a likely starter for Saturday's G2 Qatar Lillie Langtry S.

“Nashwa has been very well since France,” said co-trainer Thady Gosden. “She ran in the Oaks and then backed up a few days later in France, which is a pretty serious testament to her. She had a pretty hard race at Epsom and ran an exceptional race. She didn't quite stay but still managed to come third. She has been a bit quiet since France as you would expect. She travelled all the way over to Chantilly and ran a huge race there, but she is coming back to herself now and seems in good shape for next week.”

He added, “It is a huge achievement for an owner-breeder to have a horse of this calibre. It is a very competitive game and a real testament to Imad Al Sagar, Blue Diamond [Stud] and all of the team for breeding a filly like her.”

Of George Strawbridge's Lillie Langtry S. contender, he said: “Free Wind didn't have the smoothest trip round at Haydock last time out, but she came out of that race in great form.

“She has won at Goodwood and is pretty versatile with regards to trip and running style. You can drop her in wherever you like. She doesn't want extremes, but she handles most ground.”

 

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