Baaeed, Frankel and other top performers on time this century

Timeform time numbers show how Baaeed’s Juddmonte International compares to other top time performances of this century.

Baaed made a lasting visual impact as he moved away from last year’s winner Mishriff in the final furlong to record a six-and-a-half long win at York’s Juddmonte International on Wednesday. Performances that impress the eye aren’t always what they might appear, but Baaeed’s recent victory, taking his career record to ten unbeaten starts, was underpinned by a class-leading time tally.

Such a feat on Baaeed’s clock was perhaps a little overdue as his form already left no doubt that he was a top-class colt – after all his last five wins before York have all been in Group 1 company. But with the exception of his win at the Queen Anne Stakes when he recorded a time total of 126, Baaeed’s performances on the clock up to this week have been nothing special. The Queen Anne was run at a solid pace, while the Sussex Stakes, for example, which Baaeed won next, was run at a much more ordinary gallop, resulting in a winning time count of just 111.

But at York, circumstances were such that Baaeed ran his best race time-wise, recording an exceptional tally of 135 which, as the attached chart below shows, has seldom been equaled this century. Pacemaker High Definition, whose best hope for success was to bring his own proven endurance to bear while attempting to uncover any flaws in Baaeed’s staying power on his first attempt past a mile, returned because of that effort but his pace, back was a major factor in Baaeed recording an excellent time tally.

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Baaeed’s own father sea ​​the stars broke the course record when he won a four-man Juddmonte International in 2009, a race in which main rival Mastercraftsman was joined by a couple of pacemakers who finished well behind the top two. The course record merely indicated very fast conditions that day and although Sea The Stars still posted an excellent time tally of 131 at York, he had already clocked an even better race by the time he won the Eclipse at Sandown. another race where pacemakers ensured a relentless gallop.

Sea The Stars’ time count of 132 from the 2009 eclipse is one of this century’s best, but it is frankel who dominates the table with no fewer than four top performances on the clock. However, Baaeed’s performance at Juddmonte is only just behind Frankel’s two very best time numbers. Frankel recorded the first of these as a three-year-old when he put in an exceptional performance from the front in the 2000 Guineas, and he produced another time tally of 136 the following season with another stunning win at the Juddmonte International.

Just like Baaeed ten years later, Frankel rose from a mile for the first time at York and it was in his rivals’ best interest to try to uncover any doubts about his endurance, with Ballydoyle providing pacers to help Frankel’s main rival St .Nicholas Abbey, which is shown to have been a mile and a half away. But, as with the recent Juddmonte International, the well-run race did just the opposite, rather than uncovering any mistakes by the favorite; it showed an extraordinary racehorse in the best light. Frankel clearly blurted out to win by seven lengths.

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Another exceptional time performance at York’s Ebor meetings this century came from oasis dream in 2003, Nunthorpe, but the other to match Baaeed’s and Frankel’s best performances, came out harbinger in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2010. This was another great race where the presence of a pacemaker resulted in an outstanding time performance, although ironically it was Sir Michael Stoute’s other runner, the Derby winner workforce (who himself logged an exceptional number of times at Epsom) who should benefit most from Confront doing the donkey work. But while Workforce was beaten before the straight, Harbinger – who sadly never got a chance to back up the performance – entered the race off pace before going 11 lengths clear.

An end-to-end canter is crucial for a fast time count, which is why pacemakers are used in many of the races mentioned above. However, they seem to have fallen out of style in the last decade, which means it could be some time before we see a time figure who can compete with Baaeeds again this week.

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