Baaeed continued his meteoric rise as he stayed unbeaten with a decisive victory on his Group One debut in the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp.
William Haggas’ colt took the measure of top-level opposition at his first attempt, extending his winning sequence to five in a career which only began in a Leicester maiden in June.
Jim Crowley had Shadwell’s son of Sea The Stars in touch in a field of six, as outsider Novemba still led by five lengths into the straight – having been rushed to the front, after missing the break.
Baaeed was moving well, however, and confirmed he had matters in hand, taking over two furlongs out and proving too strong in the finish to win by a length and a quarter as the 4-11 favourite from Aidan O’Brien’s Breeders’ Cup winner Order Of Australia.
A delighted Haggas was winning this race for the second time, after Aqlaam struck in the same colours in 2009.
The Newmarket trainer was not in attendance, but having watched the race on television, he sensed that Baaeed was perhaps a little fresh for his first start in more than five weeks.
He said: “It was a funny, complicated race for him because he got into a nice position and then the German horse (Novemba) came round and set him alight.
“He was a bit wide. He and (eventual fourth) Snow Lantern were both a bit free in third and fourth.
“But once he settled down, I liked the way he did it.
“He actually raced, for me, a bit fresh. He just looked pleased to be out, so that will have done him a lot of good.
“He’s won, which is the most important thing, and we’re delighted. We’ll celebrate.
Baaeed was very busy with four mid-summer runs and Haggas agreed it is remarkable how far the three-year-old has come in such a short space of time.
He said: “Absolutely – (but) he’s had a while since his last run.
“He hasn’t run for five weeks. I think he thought his season was over!
“He’d run quite a few times before that. But he just looked a bit pleased to be out. He was enthusiastic to post, and he raced more keenly than he has so far this year.
“But he’ll be fine. He’s a charming horse, and a good one – a fast one, too.”
Bookmakers Coral were among those impressed again by Baaeed, promoting him ahead of Palace Pier to be clear favourite at 7-4 (from 11-4) for next month’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.
Haggas confirmed that will be his end-of-season target, as long as he is showing the right signs on his return from France.
“If he runs again (this season), that’ll be the race he’ll run in,” he said.
“But we’ll see about that, we’ll see how he is.”
Crowley reported that Baaeed did run more freely than he has in the past, but he was impressed nonetheless by how he settled matters when asked.
“Obviously he’s been winning races very easily back home,” he told Sky Sports Racing.
“This was his first step up to Group One company, fifth run of his life – and for me, he’s still learning.
“I thought he did very well, because the pacemaker missed it, and then chased him up – and I didn’t have any cover.
“He relaxed OK, and he picked up well. When he hit the front, he was just idling a little bit – and he was pricking his ears in front.
“It was a good performance. I hope he can keep progressing – I think he will do.”
Baaeed’s victories to date have come on ground ranging from just good to firm to this good to soft, but Crowley is confident he will be adaptable if necessary on a more testing surface.
“He stays the mile very, very well,” he said.
“He’s not too ground dependent – it’s beautiful ground out there today, and he went very well on it.
“He’s got a fantastic mind. He’s very laid-back.
“He was a little bit fresh today. It’s the first time he’s been abroad, and he took it all in his stride.
“Walking round the paddock, he was cool as a cucumber.”
Baaeed appears likely to stick to a mile for the foreseeable future, but as with underfoot conditions, Crowley is confident a move up in trip would be feasible.
He added: “As for further – yes, I’m sure he’ll stay.
“Whether connections will want to go further with him at the moment, when he’s winning Group Ones, we’ll have to wait and see.
“I wouldn’t worry (about soft ground). He ran on good to soft before – at Goodwood (in the Group Three Thoroughbred Stakes) it was on the slower side.
“Because he stays the mile very well, I think if it came up soft over a mile, I wouldn’t be too concerned.”