Baaeed - A Legend

Features | 14th October 2022

Baaeed – the world’s best turf horse – will bow out with a hero’s farewell on QIPCO British
Champions Day

Frankel Comparisons

The unbeaten four-year-old lines up in the QIPCO Champion Stakes on Saturday and it is fitting Ascot will play host to, as the race title suggests, a true champion. His place among Flat racing’s ‘greats’ is already assured. He is undoubtedly the best horse to grace British Flat racing since Frankel headed into retirement after a dazzling display in the very same race ten years ago.

Over the last 12 months, Baaeed’s achievements have mirrored the final year of Frankel’s glittering career. They both ended their three-year-old season with victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, as QIPCO British Champions Day very much lived up to its billing. Baaeed then matched Sir Henry Cecil’s superstar’s Group 1 victories in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, Royal Ascot’s Queen Anne Stakes and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. He will now attempt to win a magnificent seventh top-level prize – and his 11th victory overall – when he takes on last year’s Derby hero Adayar and Brigadier Gerard Stakes winner Bay Bridge.

The Patient Superstar

Where superstar racehorses are concerned, Baaeed was a latecomer. Much in keeping with William Haggas’ patient approach to training, the son of Sea The Stars didn’t even make it to the track as a two-year-old. In fact, he didn’t make his debut until two days after Adayar – the main threat to his unbeaten record in Saturday’s big race – had claimed Derby glory at Epsom. 

His victory at Leicester was quickly followed by a second novice win on Newmarket’s July Course. The seven-and-a-half length success gave a glimpse of the brilliance that was to follow. He cruised home in the Listed Sir Henry Cecil Stakes back at Newmarket before another wide-margin victory in Goodwood’s Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes put him in line for the autumn Group 1 mile races. 

British racing fans were forced to wait to see him take on top-class opposition as he was sent to France for the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp in September before heading to QIPCO British Champions Day. A field packed with quality was assembled for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Previous winners Palace Pier and The Revenant were among those brushed aside as Baaeed confirmed his status as champion

A Glorious Finale?

What he has achieved this season doesn’t happen often. But it’s not just the sparkle of his trophies that is impressive, it has been the manner in which he has won those top prizes. The way he cruised through the race for jockey Jim Crowley when upped to 1m2f for the first time in the Juddmonte International Stakes brought memories of Frankel flooding back. 

He quickened clear to thrash reigning champion Mishriff by six-and-a-half lengths and set up his swansong in the QIPCO Champion Stakes. Victory would take his earnings way beyond £3m and Baaeed would become one of the few horses to finish his career without tasting defeat.

He heads off to stud with owners Shadwell sure to be preparing to send him some of its choicest mares for him to cover in his debut season as a stallion. His place among the racing greats is already confirmed and his legacy is sure to live on through his sons and daughters when they hit the track in 2025. One of the most talented horses of all time, Baaeed deserves his place alongside the very best