Blistering Baaeed

03rd May 2023

As we prepare to embark on another exciting season ahead we can only anticipate rising stars, returning heroes, milestones reached and records broken.  But it is with certainty that we can reflect on some stunning performances past. Principal among them has to be Baaeed’s brilliant performance in last year’s Qatar Sussex Stakes.

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Shadwell’s son of Sea The Stars could conceivably have made it two Qatar Sussex Stakes, and even though he hadn’t even set foot on a racecourse when the entries for the for the 2021 renewal closed, it was a thought that more than crossed trainer William Haggas’ mind.  

Having watched his stable star continue his ascendance by cruising to victory in the Group 3 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes on the penultimate day of the 2021 Qatar Goodwood Festival, his fourth win in four starts, Haggas told the Racing Post, “He wasn't in the Sussex because when it closed he hadn't run. Not many put an unraced horse in a Group 1 like that, but we toyed with the idea of supplementing, but when the rain came on Sunday night I was very glad we hadn't supplemented.” And he promptly entered him in Ascot’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

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More immediately, a step up in class was assured and together with the colt’s owner, Her Highness Sheikha Hissa bint Hamdan Al Maktoum, the trainer was plotting a stellar career path with the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville in August, Goodwood’s Group 2 Celebration Mile the following month and the Prix de Moulin de Longchamp, which he subsequently contested and won, in Baaeed’s notebook. 

With his first Group 1 under his belt, Baaeed seemingly knew no bounds. His neck defeat of Palace Pier in the QEII, with Nassau Stakes heroine Lady Bowthorpe back in third, was his narrowest winning margin when Ascot played host to a thriller on QIPCO British Champions Day in October, but the winning distance belied a stunning performance under Jim Crowley.

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The 2022 campaign picked up where the previous season left off with further Group 1 success in Newbury’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes in May and his unbeaten record intact.  Royal Ascot success followed with a second defeat of Godolphin’s Real World in the Queen Anne Stakes as we began to anticipate a welcome back to Goodwood.

He came, did what he had to do and left.  Sitting comfortably sixth of seven at the half way stage before once again unleashing a blistering turn of foot three out, he stretched to record his ninth career victory with style befitting the occasion.

“Baaeed just does what he has to like his sire did. Just before the winning line he flicked his ears and completely shut down with me. It's a pleasure to be part of the journey. He's never going to be exuberant and win by ten lengths but the feeling I got from him between the three and the two (furlongs), no horse can give you that sort of feel. He's got everything. Good horses like that tick all the boxes. It will be really interesting when he goes a mile and a quarter next time and I'm really looking forward to it.”

Jim Crowley Jockey
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And enjoy it he did.  Having said that Baaeed is not the sort of horse to win by ten lengths, he saw off the globetrotting dual Group 1 winner and the previous year’s victor, Mishriff, by six and a half lengths in York’s Juddmonte International the following month to score a perfect ten.

His sole career defeat over the same trip in the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot was handled philosophically and with the style and grace we have come to expect from William Haggas. “Baaeed got beat in a horserace but that doesn't take away from the fact that he is a high-class horse. It shows that people come racing to see the good ones and I think a lot of people wanted to see him win. A lot of people will be very disappointed, nobody more so than us, but that's the way it is,” he said.

He's right.  People do come racing to see good ones and there is no better place to see them than here at Goodwood.

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