Baaeed continued his seemingly relentless march to the top with another brilliant victory in the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood.
The William Haggas-trained colt has made giant strides since making a winning debut at Leicester in early June, following up with a wide-margin novice win at Newmarket before successfully stepping up to Listed class in the Henry Cecil Stakes at the July meeting.
In theory this Group Three contest represented another hike in grade, but the son of Sea The Stars ultimately justified prohibitive odds in devastating style.
Jim Crowley was content to bide his time aboard the 2-5 favourite – and just had to give him a tap down the shoulder early in the straight to encourage him to close the gap on those in front of him.
But he soon came back on the bridle and after ranging alongside El Drama a furlong out, he scooted clear under to prevail by six and a half lengths without being fully extended.
A delighted Haggas said: “It was very impressive, I was thrilled because I wasn’t sure about the ground, but every time he runs he just keeps doing that, it’s fantastic.
“What he (Crowley) said was that he missed a loose shoe that came flying, that would have been interesting.
“Jim was very happy, we’re all soaking it up and enjoying it.
“I didn’t (see him as a miler) to start with, but I said to Jim and Angus (Gold) there, I can’t see any point in going up in trip from here at the moment. We’ll keep him at a mile, I don’t know where we’ll go.
“The three races he’s in are the Jacques le Marois, the Celebration Mile and the Moulin at Longchamp.
“I don’t suppose he can do all three, the Jacques le Marois might be a bit quick, it’s the 15th (of August) so it’s not very long.
“What they do at home is really not that relevant, it’s what they do on the racecourse.
“A lot of cricketers are good in the nets, but when they get out in the middle it’s a different story.
“He’s very good in the middle so we’ll just enjoy that and forget about him at home.”
Asked if he had been tempted to run in the Sussex Stakes, Haggas said: “Yes, but he wasn’t in it because when the Sussex Stakes closed he hadn’t run. Not many put an unraced horse in a Group One like that. We toyed with the idea of supplementing and I guess if this race hadn’t been here we’d have liked it more.
“But when the unscheduled rain came on Monday night I was very glad we hadn’t supplemented. I’m very happy to run him in a top-class race next time.”
Gold, long-standing racing manager for the late Sheikh Hamdan and his Shadwell operation, said: “I couldn’t see an awful lot. It looked like he got there very quickly when Jim asked him. He has a fantastic attitude and you’ve got to think he is a Group One horse.
“We all keep saying do we need to go up to 10 furlongs? Until he proves us wrong or gets caught out over a mile, what’s the point? He is very much a mile-and-a-half horse (on pedigree), but you just have to stand behind this horse and look at his quarters to see where his speed comes from. We are lucky to have him.
“Should we go Jacques le Marois? You’d love to end up at Ascot for the QEII, unless it is real bad ground. I have not asked William yet. There is not much else after the Marois until Ascot, so what do we do? Unless somebody says, ‘let’s try a mile and a quarter and go the Juddmonte’. But as I say I just can’t see the point at the moment.
“Nice problem to have – too much speed!”
Crowley said: “Baaeed has an engine on him, hasn’t he?
“I was quite happy to sit where I was. I had a low draw, but I didn’t want to go up the inside and complicate it at Goodwood. I knew I had plenty of horse. He got into a nice rhythm and when I pulled him out, he was always going nicely.
“We had a few concerns about the good to soft ground as he has not gone on it before, but as you could see it was no problem.
“He is a proper horse. You would like to think that he is a Group One horse, but he’s got to go and do it.
“I don’t see any reason to step him up in trip at the moment. From a stallion’s point of view, you’d love him to win Groups One races over a mile, but I am sure at some stage he will go up in trip.”
Of the placed horses, Roger Varian said of El Drama: “It was a solid effort but we ran into one today. He’s getting better with every race, but the winner looks like a Group One horse.”
Sir Mark Todd added of third home Tasman Bay: “The aim was to give him a warm up today to put the final touches on him for France (Prix Guillaume d’Ornano, Deauville) in two weeks.
“To be now Group-placed over a mile is just great, we tried to stretch the winner but have been blown away.”