Bay Bridge Causes Major Upset in QIPCO Champion Stakes

October 15, 2022

Bay Bridge stops Baaeed from going out a winner

Bay Bridge upset Baaeed at Ascot, JTW Equine Images, Past The Wire
Bay Bridge upset Baaeed, JTW Equine Images, Past The Wire

ASCOT, ENGLAND (Oct. 15, 2022) ― James Wigan & Ballylinch Stud’s Bay Bridge (GB) ensured there would be no fairytale finish for Baaeed (GB) as the previously unbeaten colt could only finish fourth behind the son of New Bay (GB) in a dramatic running of the QIPCO Champion Stakes (G1) on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot. With this victory, Bay Bridge gained an automatic place in the US$4 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) as part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 82 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 4-5.

Bay Bridge hadn’t been seen since finishing fifth in the Coral-Eclipse (G1) at Sandown Park in July, with connections believing he’s a better horse with softer underfoot conditions. Connections were proven right as the 4-year-old colt relished the ground, which was listed as good to soft, and soft in places.

Ridden by Cazoo Derby (G1) winning jockey Richard Kingscote, Bay Bridge was always prominent in the race and Kingscote kicked for home 2 furlongs out alongside last year’s Cazoo Derby winner Adayar (IRE). Hot favorite Baaeed was pulled out to challenge by his regular jockey Jim Crowley, but the soft ground appeared to blunt his acceleration and the son of Sea The Stars (IRE) could only finish fourth. Bay Bridge was always doing best and finished a half-length ahead of Adayar in second, with My Prospero (IRE) a further nose back in third.

It was a third win in the race for Sir Michael Stoute and the Newmarket trainer said: “Bay Bridge was very brave, and I’m absolutely thrilled. The staff have done a great job with this horse, and we’re all delighted. He was in very good shape coming here. We thought Baaeed was unbeatable, or I did, but I thought he had a great chance of being second because he was in terrific shape.”

Haggas said on Baaeed’s shock defeat: “It was disappointing, but he’s still a brilliant horse. He didn’t show that today but don’t take anything away from him, I’m very proud.”

Sent off at 10-1, Bay Bridge, who is out of the Multiplex (GB) mare Hayyona (GB), finished the 1 ¼ miles in 2:09:46.

Bayside Boy causes shock in Queen Elizabeth II Stakes

Teme Valley & Ballylinch Stud’s homebred Bayside Boy (IRE) was a surprise winner of the 1-mile Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) (G1). At odds of 33-1, the son of New Bay (GB) stormed to victory securing an automatic starting position and fees paid into this year’s FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.

Trained by Roger Varian and ridden by Tom Marquand, Bayside Boy was slowly away from the starting stalls but not as slow as the race’s favorite, Inspiral (GB) who lost a lot of ground on her rivals at the start. Jadoomi (FR) and 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) hero Modern Games (IRE) looked to be the ones fighting out the finish, but Bayside Boy showed a brilliant turn of foot to reel in the front runners and shock his rivals. Modern Games just got the better of Jadoomi in a photo finish for second place. 

Varian, who was also responsible for fifth-placed El Drama (IRE), said: “It’s a funny old game, a funny old game. I need to watch it again because I was shouting El Drama home, who I thought had a huge chance with 2 furlongs to run. Then I saw Bayside Boy coming! He was very good, wasn’t he? He was 33-1, so I’m not going to say I thought he was going to win, but we thought he was a lively horse. He had very good juvenile form but lost his way on the firm summer ground.”

Bayside Boy, a bay son of New Bay (GB) out of the Anabaa mare Alava (IRE), finished the 1-mile on ground listed good to soft, and soft in places in 1:45:53.

As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Bay Bridge to start in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf and Bayside Boy to start in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a US$40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 24 to receive the rewards.

Breeders Cup Press Release

Photos: JTW Equine Images

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