One of the most exciting horses in Europe this season in Flat racing is Baaeed. He ended 2021 as the champion miler, after defeating Palace Pier in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on British Champions Day.
William Haggas’ runner is now being linked with some of the leading races over one-mile-and-two-furlongs, with the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown a possibility for the horse. The four-year-old has an entry in the open-age contest, and it could be his first attempt at 10 furlongs.
Before he appears at Sandown, Baaeed will remain at one mile for the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. He is the -250 favorite in the Royal Ascot odds for the day one contest at the royal meeting.
The unbeaten miler produced an excellent performance to land the Group One Lockinge Stakes on his first run of 2022. He got the better of the likes of Mother Earth, Real World and Alcohol Free in the race at Newbury.
Eclipse Could Feature Derby Winners
If he does line up at Sandown, Baaeed could come up against multiple Derby winners, who may try to make the race a test of stamina. Adayar, the colt who won the British Classic at Epsom in 2021, is expected to be in the field. He also prevailed in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes last year.
The race may also feature this year’s Derby winner, as Stone Age, Ballydoyle’s leading hope for Epsom, has an entry, while Modern Games, an exciting horse from Charlie Appleby’s yard, is on the list.
With a weight allowance against the older horses, Derby winners have a great record in the Eclipse. The race was won by Sea the Stars in 2009 and Golden Horn in 2015, following their triumphs in the most prestigious British Classic.
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The opposition to Baaeed is likely to also include Mishriff. The 2021 Juddmonte International winner was not at his best in this race last year, but his form in the leading middle-distance contests over the last 18 months is as good as any horse in Europe.
Baaeed Temperament Likely to Help
Although the extra two furlongs will stretch Baaeed’s stamina in the Eclipse, his latest run at Newbury has given his connections a lot of confidence. He settled very well into the contest from a slow pace, with little cover. If he does the same at Sandown, he may still be able to produce his trademark strong finish.
Frankel ran over one-mile-and-two-furlongs at the back end of his career, scoring in the Juddmonte International and Champion Stakes. Both of those races are likely to be on the table too for the talented colt.
His trainer Haggas has already said Baaeed is the best horse he has ever trained. How highly he ranks when he retires will depend on what he goes on to achieve later in the campaign. If he can remain unbeaten, just like Frankel did, he will be up there with the very best one-mile horses in history.
The Eclipse is one of the highlights of the Flat season in the UK. With Baaeed part of the line-up, it will be a race no racing fan will want to miss this year.