Undefeated Baaeed Dominates Qatar Sussex Stakes

July 27, 2022

Baaeed earns Second Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Victory for US$2 Million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile

CHICHESTER, WEST SUSSEX, ENGLAND— Brilliant as ever, Shadwell Estate Company’s 4-year-old homebred Baaeed (GB) improved his record to a perfect nine for nine, winning the 1-mile Qatar Sussex Stakes (G1) at Goodwood Racecourse by 1 ¾-lengths over Modern Games (IRE). Ridden by Jim Crowley, Baaeed won his second Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In race this year in the US$2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) division. Baaeed previously earned an automatic berth into the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile when he captured the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot on June 14.

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.

Trained by William Haggas, Baaeed, a son of Sea the Stars (IRE) out of the Kingmambo mare Aghareed, won his fifth consecutive Group 1 race. He completed the 1-mile in 1:37.28 over a course listed as good to firm. Coming into the Sussex Stakes, Baaeed was rated No. 1 in the latest Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.

Off at 1-6 against six rivals, Baaeed settled toward the rear of the field while Japanese entrant Bathrat Leon (JPN) led through the first 5 furlongs over Chindit (IRE) and Modern Games, winner of last year’s US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). Turning into the straight, Crowley moved Baaeed to the outside, and the colt rolled into high gear inside the two furlong marker, passing Modern Games and comfortably surging home for the victory. The 4-year-old filly Alcohol Free (IRE), last year’s Sussex Stakes winner, closed to finish third, followed by Bathrat Leon, Angel Bleu (FR), Chindit and Order of Australia (IRE), the 2020 FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner.

“I am relieved it’s over,” said Haggas. “Baaeed is such a nice horse. It is a great occasion and I said to Sheikha Hissa beforehand that the only time I’ve been photographed as much was when I walked into the paddock at Meydan and shook hands with her father [Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum] and about 50 people took my photo. I can’t tell you how sad it is for all of us that Sheikh Hamdan is not here to witness it. He did everything for days like this and he would have loved it.”

Haggas indicated that the 1 ¼-mile Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) at York on Aug. 17,, a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race for the US$6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), could be the next start for Baaeed.

Sheikha Hissa Hamdan Al Maktoum, daughter of the late Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: “For me and my family, Baaeed means the world. He is a homebred and from the same family of Nashwan and the whole lineage. It’s good to see one of our best horses coming from the family that my father worked so hard on.”

“Baaeed just does what he has to, he is like his sire [Sea The Stars],” said winning rider Crowley. “Just before the winning line, he pricked his ears and shut down with me. Baaeed is never going to be exuberant and win by 10 lengths, but the feeling I got off him between the three and the two-furlong pole, no horse can give you that feel.

“I have ridden some lovely horses, I’ve been very lucky, but this is just on another level. The excitement and build-up before the race is great. It’s funny, I’m not a great sleeper, but I always sleep well the night before riding him. I don’t have any worries and he gives me confidence, and hopefully I give him some confidence as well.”

In addition to Baaeed, four other runners have also earned automatic berths into the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile thus far in 2022: Jet Dark (SAF), who won the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) in South Africa; Viejos Tiempos (CHI), winner of the Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella (G1) in Chile; Count Again, who captured the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Park in California, and Songline (JPN), winner of the Yasuda Kinen (G1) in Japan.

As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the Baaeed to start in the US$2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance for starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.

Breeders’ Cup Press Release

Photo: Baaeed drawing away in the Qatar Sussex Stakes (PA Media)

That was a phenomenal article Jonathan. Thank you for writing it and sharing it. Ruffian was my second love (after Man O' War) and I simply cannot stop the tears from falling every time I read about this magnificent black beauty.

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