Baaeed’s brilliance on full display at York

Amongst a quality field and moving up in distance, the Knavesmire crowd watched on with great interest to see how the world number one ranked horse Baaeed would fare in the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at the York Ebor Festival on Wednesday.

Hoping to make it ten wins from as many starts, the William Haggas-trained colt and pre-race horse racing betting favourite delivered in spades, thrashing the field to finish first past the post comfortably and more than six lengths clear of Mishriff in second-place. As a result of the breath-taking win, Timeform raised Baaeed’s provisional rating from 134 to 137, the second highest recorded this century.

Naturally, after such a blistering display, comparisons were quickly made to the all-time great Frankel, whose performance in the same race ten years earlier was similarly emphatic. With Frankel being widely regarded in the UK & Ireland as the best horse of the modern era, it is difficult to say Baaeed is the superior of the two – however off the strength of his outing at York – it’s not sacrilegious to believe he at least belongs in the conversation.

While the comparisons will forever remain when discussing the two phenomenal thoroughbreds, the four-year-old’s trainer would rather celebrate his horse’s achievement than entertain a debate on who’s the best.

“Just give him credit for what he does – don’t compare him to (2012 winner) Frankel,” Haggas said. It was a superlative performance and very satisfying to see him on the bridle a furlong and a half out. It proves he gets the trip.

“I was tense. I was happy with him. We had a little scare with a veterinary issue before the race, which I will deal with later, and those sorts of things add to a bit of pressure.

“He has just got a fabulous engine and a fabulous temperament. And, as I have said a few times, finding me another one is going to be the tricky bit.”

Attention will now immediately turn to Baaeed’s next race, with Haggas appearing likely to choose Champions Day at Ascot over the Paris Longchamp’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for his colt’s swansong before retiring him to stud.

“He can’t do both, it’s too close, and we wanted our finale in the Champion Stakes, that’s always been the plan,” he said. “Everyone loves a good horse and I hope they all turn up for Ascot as well.

“I never had any desire to run in the Arc – unless Sheikha Hissa and Angus (Gold, racing manager) decide they want to go there, it will be Ascot.”

If Haggas ultimately ends up going down the Ascot path, it will be fascinating to see if that choice proves to be the right one – and for those looking to have a bet – early odds have him incredibly short at 1/2 to take it out.

However, it’ll be another tough race for Baaeed, as if you look at the racing results of some of the opposition he is expected to face come October, he’ll need to put forth another scintillating display if he is to make it 11 from 11 and retire unblemished.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.