Baaeed is now eight for eight with his cruise control win in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, a Win And You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Mile
A straight mile run over the firm Royal Ascot course, along with 6 rivals, proved no problem for the still unbeaten Baaeed, the top rated horse in the world by many. The win qualifies the Sea the Stars 4-year old trained by William Haggas and owned by Shadwell Estate company LTD for the Breeders’ Cup Mile to be run at Keeneland in November. It remains to be seen if Baaeed decides to make the trip.
Baaeed cemented his position as the world’s highest-rated racehorse with a straightforward success in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot.
Sent off the 1/6 favourite for the opening contest of the Royal Meeting, the unbeaten son of Sea The Stars made it all look very straightforward under Jim Crowley, coming away from runner-up Real World to give trainer William Haggas a first Queen Anne Stakes success.
There were no anxious moments for anyone that took the short odds about Baaeed, who settled well enough behind the front-running Real World down the middle of the track, before Crowley pressed the ‘go’ button just over a furlong out.
The response was fairly immediate and, although Baaeed didn’t pull away in the closing stages, he was always keeping his rivals at bay. Real World was a length and three-quarters behind at the line, with Order Of Australia four lengths further back in third.
Here is what the connections had to say courtesy of Royal Ascot Media:
Queen Anne Stakes Jim Crowley
Jim Crowley: “The only way I can explain the feeling is when you go to the funfair and you’re waiting in the queue for a fast ride, that’s the feeling before you get on him. Once you’re on him and away it’s great – I really enjoy it. He’s a pleasure to ride. William and Maureen have done a marvellous job. It’s great that Sheikha Hissa is here today to see him, and I feel very lucky to ride him.
“Everything was smooth; I didn’t have to pick my stick up or anything. He just went through the gears nicely. Big crowd, he just pricks his ears when he gets to the front, but I was always in control. When he moved up at the two-pole, there was never any doubt. I was always pretty confident. He’s a very easy ride and I’m not tied down to riding him a certain way – he’s got a great temperament. Look, it’s a long season; there’s no need to go and win by 10 lengths. He’s got plenty of sterner tests waiting.
“For sure [Crowley thinks he could get 10 furlongs]. It’s up to connections to choose, but for me he’s got a great turn of foot and I can’t see why he can’t do that over a mile and a quarter, but he’s certainly very potent over a mile.
“As soon as you pull him out and go, it’s a great feeling. It’s hard to explain – I haven’t had a horse like it. This horse is a superstar. I’m sure we’ll keep testing him, but I’m pretty sure he’ll keep finding. You wait a lifetime for a horse to come along like this. Pressure’s good – enjoy it. If you didn’t feel it, you shouldn’t be doing it, but it’s a great feeling. He’s just a fabulous horse.”
“Everything went smoothly. He got a nice tow into the race and was not doing a lot in front. There is a big crowd here today and he is just so relaxed. He has a great mind and Baaeed is just a joy to ride.
“Real World stays further and I thought they would go forward. I had a nice bit of cover and could go when I wanted to go. It was just the perfect race really.
“He is just fantastic. He will have sterner tests ahead we know that. He is just doing everything perfectly at the moment. He gallops out very well over a mile and he has a serious turn of foot over a mile – it’s unnatural really. I don’t see 10 furlongs being a problem.
“They will step him up in the Juddmonte which is shaping up to be a great race and it’s great that Sheikha Hissa is here.
“I’m glad it was the first race! I had every confidence in him.”
“It doesn’t get any easier than that. Everything went smoothly. He got a lovely tow into the race, the ground is beautiful and I just let him stretch out for the last furlong of the race. It was like clockwork.
“It’s the pinnacle. You spend your whole life waiting for a horse like this to come along. Everyone says to enjoy it, but there is a lot of pressure. But I love it and I enjoy it. It’s why we do it. Sheikh Hamdan would be looking down smiling and I’m so pleased that Sheikha Hissa is here today. William and Maureen Haggas have done an unbelievable job with him and it is a pleasure to get on him and do the steering.”
William Haggas – Baaeed
“I thought Baaeed won nicely. He didn’t do a lot really. I need to see it again, but he looked like he tracked the right horse, the second horse [Real World], and won very well. He was not extended really.
“He travels well and settles well. That is a really important part if we are going to go further. I will speak to Sheikha Hissa and Angus Gold, but I think we are all quite keen to give it a go [step up in trip] and that will be at York. It’s whether we slot Goodwood in, in the meantime. It’s potentially Goodwood next.
“He is obviously a good miler and he is bred to get further. I think we’d like to try it and I think it would be remiss of us not to. The easy option is to stay at a mile, but I think we will give it a go. He relaxes really well and he is good – he’d be more interesting in a July Cup!”
Royal Ascot Press Release
Photo: Baaeed, Megan Ridgwell