Undefeated Baaeed Faces Breeders’ Cup Champions Modern Games and Order of Australia in Qatar Sussex Stakes

July 27, 2022

1-Mile Race Offers Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Berth into US$2 Million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile

CHICHESTER, WEST SUSSEX, ENGLAND— Shadwell Estate Company’s brilliant 4-year-old Baaeed (GB) will put his unbeaten streak on the line as the prohibitive favorite in Wednesday’s Qatar Sussex Stakes (G1) at Goodwood Racecourse against six rivals, including last year’s winner, Alcohol Free (IRE), and Breeders’ Cup Champions Order of Australia (IRE) and Modern Games (IRE). The 1-mile race offers an automatic starting position into the US$2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) through 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.

The Qatar Sussex Stakes will be televised live on TVG at 10:35 a.m. ET.

Trained by William Haggas, Baaeed is a perfect eight for eight and is currently rated No.1 in the latest Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings. His 128 rating in the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot on June 18 was the highest IFHA figure assigned to any Thoroughbred in the world this year. Baaeed won the Queen Anne by 1 ¾ lengths, going clear in the final furlong for his fourth consecutive Group 1 win. The victory also earned him an automatic starting position in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile.

The Queen Anne was Baaeed’s second win of 2022 following a season-opening triumph in the 1-mile Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes (G1) at Newbury on May 14. Last year, Baaeed showed a liking for Goodwood when he won the 1-mile Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes (G3) by 6 ½ lengths. Following that triumph, Baaeed captured his first Group 1 race, taking the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (G1) by 1 ¼ lengths over Order of Australia. He closed out the year on Oct. 16, defeating Palace Pier (GB) by a neck the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO).

Jeff Smith’s 4-year-old filly Alcohol Free, trained by Andrew Balding, has also won four Group 1 races, with her most recent triumph being a 1 ½-length win in the 6-furlong Darley July Cup (G1) at Newmarket on July 9. That victory ended a five-race losing streak dating back to her win in the 2021 Qatar Sussex Stakes (G1) when she defeated favored Poetic Flare (IRE) by 1 ¾ lengths. Earlier in the year, Alcohol Free, a daughter of No Nay Never, won the Coronation Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot.

Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Mrs. A.M. O’Brien’s Order of Australia, winner of the 2020 US$2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Keeneland at 73-1, finished third to Baaeed in the Queen Anne, 5 ¾ lengths behind the winner. A 5-year-old son of Australia (GB), Order of Australia rebounded with a strong effort next time out in the 7-furlong Romanised Minstrel Stakes (G2) at The Curragh, winning by 3 ½ lengths over Pearls Galore (FR). Order of Australia is trained by Aidan O’Brien, who is seeking his sixth Qatar Sussex Stakes win.

Godolphin’s Modern Games completed 2021 by winning the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Del Mar. He continued his winning ways this year when he opened the season on May 15 at ParisLongchamp and captured the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulins (French 2000 Guineas) (G1) by 1 ½ lengths. Back in France three weeks later for the Qatar Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) (G1) at Chantilly, Modern Games led the field until the final quarter-mile when he was passed by Vadeni (FR) to his outside, and wound up finishing third. Cutting back to 7 furlongs in the Haras d’Etreham Prix Jean Prat (G1) at Deauville on July 10, Modern Games was in good position to win, but could not sustain a drive in the final 100 yards and finished fifth, defeated by 1 ½ lengths as the 8-5 favorite.

Trainer Yoshito Yahagi, who saddled Japan’s first two Breeders’ Cup winners last year at Del Mar with Loves Only You (JPN) and Marche Lorraine (JPN), has entered Hiroo Race Co.’s Bathrat Leon (JPN), who won the Godolphin Mile (G2) on dirt at 66-1 in his previous start on March 26. A 4-year-old son of Kizuna (JPN), the Godolphin Mile was also Bathrat Leon’s first win since capturing the New Zealand Trophy (G2) at Nakayama in April 2021.

Michael Pescod’s 4-year-old Chindit (IRE) finished behind Baaeed in both the Lockinge (third) and the Queen Anne (fourth). But the Richard Hannon-trained son of Wootton Bassett (GB) won his most recent outing in the Fred Cowley 1-mile MBE Memorial Summer Mile Stakes (G2) at Ascot on July 9 for his sixth career victory.

Marc Chan’s 3-year-old Angel Bleu (FR), a son of Dark Angel (IRE), won back-to-back Group 1 races last October in France, taking the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Grand Criterium) at ParisLongchamp and the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud. This year, Angel Bleu, trained by Ralph Beckett, finished third in the Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes (G3) on April 16, and was ninth in the St. James’s Palace (G1) at Royal Ascot on June 14.

As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the Qatar Sussex Stakes winner to start in the US$2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Keeneland. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a 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 October 24 to receive the rewards.

Breeders’ Cup Press Release

Photo: Baaeed (Eclipse Sportswire)

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