David Morgan

Chief Journalist


Bathrat Leon is ready for Baaeed

Yoshito Yahagi’s raider from Japan completed his preparations for the Sussex Stakes with a weekend gallop.

Bathrat Leon is all set for his big date at Goodwood on Wednesday when he will face the unbeaten European champion Baaeed in British summertime’s top mile contest, the Group One Sussex Stakes.

The Yoshito Yahagi-trained four-year-old had his final fast work in Newmarket on Saturday under assistant trainer Yukihiko Araki. Regular jockey Ryusei Sakai will take the reins when he steps out on the scenic Sussex Downs

Yahagi arrived in England on Monday afternoon, two days out from the race, which is the feature of the five-day festival known informally as ‘Glorious Goodwood’.  

“We galloped him on Warren Hill on Saturday and we are very satisfied with him,” Araki said.

Bathrat Leon also exercised on Monday morning in Newmarket, where he has been based at Roger Varian’s Carlburg Stables since June 24. The plan for Tuesday morning was to walk for an hour before the drive to the south coast later in the day.

“It’s the normal routine we do in Japan,” continued Araki. “He will travel at around 12 o’clock, leaving Newmarket, and he should be at Goodwood by about 4pm.”

Bathrat Leon will be first-up since winning the Group Two Godolphin Mile in March and is one of only two horses in the field of seven without a Group One win on the board.


Baaeed wins the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

As well as the unbeaten Baaeed, the Kizuna colt’s opponents will include last year’s winner Alcohol Free, who landed the July Cup over 1200 metres, last time; the Poule d’Essai des Poulains winner Modern Games; the seemingly revitalised 2020 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Order Of Australia; Angel Bleu, a top class two-year-old last year; and last start Group Two winner Chindit.

“We are very happy to be racing in the Sussex Stakes, it is one of the best mile races in the world. It looks like it will be an exciting race this year and we are looking forward to competing against Baaeed, he is a very good horse,” added Araki.

Bathrat Leon will attempt to emulate the Goodwood success of Japan’s Deirdre, who won the Group One Nassau Stakes at the festival in 2019.    

The bay, who races in the blue silks of Hiroo Race Club Ltd, was a high-class prospect in the spring of his three-year-old season but lost his way for a time after he unseated his rider in the May 2021 Group One NHK Mile Cup. He bounced back to form emphatically in the Godolphin Mile at his first start on dirt but is a proven performer on turf.

Bathrat Leon and stablemate King Hermes will ship to Deauville, France on July 30 ahead of their respective assignments in the Group One Prix Jacques le Marois and Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest.



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