Baaeed makes it a perfect ten with stunning International win

Wed 17 Aug 2022

Baaeed dazzled on the Knavesmire to maintain his unbeaten record with a dominant display in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York.

The four-year-old lined up with nine victories over a mile to his credit and matched the achievement of his sire, Sea The Stars, as he landed the feature Group One when tackling 10 furlongs for the first-time in his career.

Full replay: Watch how Baaeed stunned his rivals in the Juddmonte International

Baaeed was held up in rear in the early stages by Jim Crowley as Ryan Moore aboard High Definition set the tempo and his big-race pilot was in no rush to push the button aboard the 2-5 favourite.

Crowley continued to keep his powder dry as the field entered the straight and as defending champion Mishriff made his move and hit the front, the famous Shadwell silks remained motionless stalking his prey.

With James Doyle shoving away on Mishriff with a furlong to go in the contest, it was left to Baaeed to glide to the front and gallop into the distance as he extended his record to a perfect 10 out of 10.

"That meant a lot to me and my family" - Winning-owner Sheikha Hissa Hamdan Al Maktoum chats to Lydia Hislop about Baaeed's superb victory

Haggas said: “It’s a relief more than anything. He’s such a good horse and he’s proved it today, he’s shown everyone.

“I had a few anxious moments through the day but not during the race. The traffic getting in was horrendous, I should have known better.

“Mishriff is a great horse, he might not have been on song today, (fifth-placed) Native Trail might not have run his race but he’s a Guineas winner and High Definition was only just touched off in the Tattersalls Gold Cup, so hopefully he’ll get the recognition he deserves.

“He’s delivered a special performance today. It’s very difficult, especially when you’ve got another horse (Dubai Honour, fourth) in the race, to try and take it all in but he looked pretty spectacular to me.”

An overjoyed Jim Crowley hails "very special" Baaeed

Haggas now has his sights set on the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 15 for Baaeed, although some bookmakers are offering odds of 5-4 about a Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe challenge.

He added: “I think the racing public have shown their appreciation today. 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.”

A relieved William Haggas spoke to Nick Luck after Baaeed's win

Haggas was fined £140 by the stewards before the race as Baaeed was “showing signs of a skin condition” for which the trainer did not have the correct paperwork.

He explained: “Apparently the vet saw some spots on his neck which he thought was ringworm, but I can assure you he never had any spots when he left the yard and when I went to saddle him I couldn’t see any.

“I just felt it was unnecessary and I hope they don’t think we don’t know what we’re doing.

“It was probably a heat rash.”

Where next for Baaeed? Racing manager Angus Gold gives his verdict on the mighty Baaeed

Gosden satisfied with Mishriff in defeat

John Gosden said he had “no complaints” after Baaeed easily accounted for defending champion Mishriff in the Juddmonte International at York.

Mishriff had slammed his opponents by six lengths in last season’s renewal of the Group One contest, but had no answer to Baaeed, who looked imperious on his first try over 10 furlongs and breezed home under Jim Crowley.

Partnered by James Doyle, Mishriff held every chance with two furlongs to race but was no match for Baaeed, who took his tally to 10 unbeaten and a sixth consecutive success at the top level.

Despite seeing his charge beaten by six and a half lengths, Gosden was satisfied that the five-year-old had bumped into a superstar.

“He has run great, absolutely,” he said of Mishriff. “I was saying earlier when they asked me on the TV what I thought about Baaeed, and I said I think he will actually be a better horse over this trip. He has been crying out for it, the winner.

“We have run great, he’s done nothing wrong and we are very happy with him.

“We probably could have done with good to firm ground rather than the rain they had overnight, but no complaints whatsoever – he has run a nice race.”

Asked to compare Baaeed with Frankel, who retired unbeaten after 14 races, including a visually impressive seven-length victory in the same race a decade earlier, Gosden added: “I think Frankel was a more extravagant, flamboyant horse and therefore to that extent, exciting.

“I have felt for a long time that this horse (Baaeed) has been beating a mile division that isn’t top, top-rank and that this is his trip.

“I have always thought that when he ran over this, you would see an even better horse and we have.”

Plans for the Prince Faisal-owned Mishriff are unclear, although Gosden admitted he would not welcome any rain.

“I will talk to the owner – it is only August,” he added. “He doesn’t like the softer ground – he is a top-of-the-ground horse – so we will see where we go, we’ll work it out. He is well engaged.”

Though Sir Busker started tardily, the 100-1 chance stayed on well under Ben Curtis to finish third, some nine lengths behind the winner.

His trainer, William Knight, said: “He was slow away, which he has done a couple of times now, I’m not sure why. I think when we really looked at it, that was the best possible position we could finish and that was fantastic.”

The Newmarket handler is now contemplating an overseas sortie at the back end of the season for the six-year-old.

“He might have a little break now,” said Knight. “He has had a long season. He started off quite early and has had some hard races, but we will sleep on it. Australia has been mentioned – the Cox Plate – or potentially Bahrain.”

Asked about Baaeed’s scintillating display and where he stood in the pantheon of good horses, Knight added: “Just to be here and watch such an amazing horse win and be part of it is fantastic. I’m delighted.

“I think Baaeed has now got to be on that level of Frankel and Sea The Stars. We don’t like comparing horses, but he is getting there. Jim gave him a great ride. He was cool and didn’t panic.”

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