Emily King now a live contender to win Badminton

Lots of people who saw the Valmy Biats win at Thoresby Park felt it was special. As the ratings came in, it got even more exciting here at HQ. Emily's win came in with a HPR (High Performance Rating) of 106. It is one of the highest-rated performances at this level of the sport in recent years and pushed the chances of a Badminton win up by a full 5%.

Emily King riding Valmy Biats

Lets start with a quick look at the ratings: 

A 106 HPR is huge! the data is suggesting we have seen something on a par with Laura Collett and London 52 at that Aston-Le-Walls class before Tokyo when they finished on 20.5, beating Toledo and Brookfield Inocent. It is on a par with fischerChipmunk winning Luhmuhlen in 2021 (dominating the rest of the field and finished on 21.4 - a field that included Vassily and a not-quite-yet Olympic Champion Amande De b'Neville). It even matches the SAP Hale Bob win at Aachen in 2019. 

Emily King Hpr List

Why such a good rating?

Take a look at who they beat...and by how much. Sure, some horses may not have been pushing for time but they were all doing their best in the first phase and Valmy Biats was joint-leader with Banzai du Loir on 23.2. They were ahead of London 52, ahead of Lordship's Graffalo and Izilot DHI. They were second fastest - a second behind Colorado Blue. A 6.8 winning margin in a field which contains some of the greats will drive the rating.

Thorseby Final Results

Is it real? 

Sure, they didn't all push for the time and some didn't even run XC but it certainly has made us all sit up a bit here at the office. Likely it is a bit inflated because of the tactics of others but also possible that it goes under the radar - and it shouldn't.

What it means for Badminton 2024

It means a big jump in the ratings. Have a look:

Valmy BiatsTheir chances of winning at Badminton have shot up by 5%, making them one of the top contenders. They may be 4th highest on win chance at the moment, but with Cooley Rosalent planning to cross the Atlantic to compete at Kentucky, it is fair to consider them the 3rd favourite for Badminton currently. Imagine the scenes if Emily King wins Badminton! And what would it mean for Paris! Anyway, let's enjoy that 106 Thoresby win and not get too ahead of ourselves.

Brookfield Innocent

Brookfield Inocent: The favourite - if they start
Another Thoresby winner (2022). This pair deliver incredible results when they start and haven't been out of the top three in any of their last five international runs. That run however includes Avenches in late 2021 - they had only two runs in 2022 and two in 2023. If they start, they will be class but it will be bubblewrap between now and the second weekend in May. 

Izilot DHI

Izilot DHI: Badminton Bound
Last season, Ros had probably the best 'second' horse in the sport in this horse and late last year, Izilot DHI began to push Lordship's Graffalo for the top spot and place for Paris. Izilot has a 5* win under his belt at Pau, and Ros will be looking to add another Badminton title in 2024. 

Who are we missing?

Jalapeno and Gemma Stevens were third favourites when entries were released in late March - they are out of the competition now which also impacted on the favourites. This reshuffle has put Cooley Rosalent in a sweet spot in this virtual world of prediction and simulation but we expect it is Kentucky for this combination and therefore, it is the Burghley winner and five-star king, Ballaghmor Class that many will now see as the tough, battle-hardened horse that can rise to the challenge of Badminton. 

Vitali: Jumped Clear at Thoresby
We got a few messages about the impact of the clear show jumping round within minutes of it happening at Thoresby. We were excited to see ourselves but a dip in dressage performance - a 27 is great (and probably more a more realistic repeatable benchmark) than the 18.7 at Burghley. The hike in dressage score cancelled the clear round of SJ and they are about where they were - top few. 

Lots still to unfold no doubt. Main takeaway - Valmy was really great!! 

Badminton Prediction Centre on the 10th April

Prediction Centre on the 10th April

Additional Materials:

Entries Magazine Overview: https://digital.equiratings.com/view/399834390/
Latest Badminton Prediction Centrehttps://prediction-centre.equiratings.com/competitions/badminton_5l_2024
Check the current entries: https://www.badminton-horse.co.uk/entries/2024
Find more podcast episodes here: https://podfollow.com/equiratings-eventing-podcast

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