Tag Archive for: Baaeed

Baaeed primed for Lockinge return at Newbury

Champion miler Baaeed is primed and ready to go for his much-anticipated seasonal reappearance in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

Unbeaten in six starts, those victories came in just over four months last summer in a special period which saw him progress from a maiden to beating Palace Pier on Champions Day – his second Group One triumph.

Trained by William Haggas for Shadwell Estate, the four-year-old is now rated as one of the best horses in the world and on official figures has plenty in hand over his rivals at the weekend.

“He was unraced at two. I probably rang Angus (Gold, Shadwell’s racing manager) to tell him he needed more time and as he was unraced it was very unlikely he was a Guineas horse, so the plan was take him to a maiden and see what happens,” said Haggas, remembering last spring.

Baaeed beat Palace Pier (left) and Lady Bowthorpe in the QEII
Baaeed beat Palace Pier (left) and Lady Bowthorpe in the QEII (Steven Paston/PA)

“We obviously liked him, but we like lots of them and lots of them go the wrong way. This one went the right way.

“I was pretty impressed with him at Goodwood (in a Group Three), but I’d spoken to (handicapper) Dominic Gardiner-Hill after his second win at Newmarket in the Listed race when he said everything else ran to the pound, exactly where they should have finished.

“He said ‘he beat them four lengths so I’ve put him on 121 and could easily go higher, but I’ve got the Guineas winner on 122 and I don’t want to do that at this stage’, quite rightly. Given the handicappers are neutral, and they were getting the same vibes as us, I knew then he was good.

“I asked if Sheikha Hissa (who runs Shadwell) and Angus wanted to supplement for the Sussex on the back of that win, but we had another option of a Group Three over a mile which was a perfect fit. Sheikha Hissa said to go for the Group Three to see where we were and he obviously won that impressively and that was when we thought ‘crikey, we’ve got one’.”

Haggas has yet to win the Lockinge but one man has won it more than any other, his father-in-law Lester Piggott.

“Lester hasn’t offered any advice yet, but he’ll be sending his best wishes and hoping he wins. He’ll be following it closely as he still does with all of them,” said Haggas.

“I don’t feel any pressure yet but we’ll see on Saturday. Our daughter is a few days late foaling in Dubai, so that is pressure in its own way, I’d like that to go well. I try not to think about Baaeed, what will be will be.”

Perhaps the biggest question regarding Baaeed is if and when he steps up in trip given there is plenty of stamina in his pedigree.

“The only entry I gave to him before he ran was in the King Edward VII (over 12 furlongs) which says it all, but then I was guided very much by his brother (Hukum) who is a stayer,” said Haggas.

“He’s got a very strong backside and if you looked at him as an individual, you wouldn’t think he was a brother to a stayer as he looks fast. He’s not big, just strong.

“I think the dilemma we have over the course of the next six months is when and if we step him up in trip, a lot will depend how he gets on on Saturday.”

In his role as retained rider for Shadwell, Jim Crowley has ridden Baeed to four of his six wins, and was even on board for a recent workout at Chelmsford which seemingly went very well indeed.

“Jim is very important, he rode him the other day at Chelmsford and was very pleased with him – as we all were,” said Haggas.

Jockey Jim Crowley has developed a rapport with Baaeed
Jockey Jim Crowley has developed a rapport with Baaeed (Steven Paston/PA)

“He went with a lead horse we kept in training, who is quite useful and rated 104 called Montatham. He led, Aldaary (won a Listed race at Haydock on Saturday) sat second and Jim pulled him out and he quickened by. The other two weren’t pressed when he went on.

“We knew if the rain came Aldaary would go to Haydock at the weekend, so he was never going to have a hard bit of work, but it was just getting him out to a different place. I’d have loved to work on the grass somewhere. I didn’t fancy working him at Newmarket on Guineas weekend, so we went to Chelmsford and his work was very nice.

“It’s very hard to compare him to mine I’ve had in the past. I think Shaamit must have been pretty good to win the Derby as we were pretty clueless back then – probably still are – yet he managed to win the Derby first time out, which is quite a difficult thing to do.

“Sea Of Class had a great turn of foot and stayed very well. This horse is right up there but he has a bit more to do yet. We’re very fond of him.”

Baaeed heads nine contenders for Lockinge glory

Baaeed will face a maximum of eight rivals in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

The Sea The Stars colt enjoyed a fantastic debut campaign in 2021, progressing from a Leicester maiden win in early June to landing the QEII on Champions Day at Ascot in mid-October.

The William Haggas-trained four-year-old also claimed top-level honours in the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp and will be a hot favourite to extend his unbeaten record to seven on his reappearance.

Chief among his potential rivals is Aidan O’Brien’s top-class filly Mother Earth, who won the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Prix Rothschild at Deauville last term.

Unlike Baaed, the daughter of Zoffany has already had a run this season, having made a successful return in the Group Three Park Express Stakes at the Curragh in late March.

Richard Hannon has confirmed both Chindit and Etonian. The first colt made a smart start to his campaign in the Doncaster Mile, but will need to improve.

Saeed bin Suroor’s dual Group Two winner Real World is set for a return to turf after failing to handle the dirt in either the Saudi Cup or the Dubai World Cup on his last couple of starts.

The trainer confirmed that from now on Real World would be doing all his racing on turf.

Real World was a Royal Ascot winner last year
Real World was a Royal Ascot winner last year (David Davies/PA)

“He’s in very good form, he did his last piece of work today. He’s working well and is in good condition and I’m looking forward to running him,” said the Godolphin trainer.

“We had to try him on the dirt in Saudi and in the World Cup as they are such big races, but he didn’t handle it well. We’ve gave him the chance but that’s it, no more, it will be turf now all the time.

“The Lockinge is obviously a top-class race and Baaeed looks a very good horse, he looks a superstar.

“We’ll take our chance against Baaeed, so far I’m happy and he’s working well.”

New Mandate (Ralph Beckett), Sir Busker (William Knight), Sunray Major (John and Thady Gosden) and Alcohol Free (Andrew Balding) complete the acceptors.

Brilliant Baaeed all set to return in Lockinge Stakes

Baaeed is set to put his unbeaten record on the line in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

The four-year-old, trained by William Haggas, will head straight to the Group One showpiece on May 14 when he will try to build on a perfect 2021 in which he won six out of six, culminating in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

Baaeed only made his debut in June and quickly climbed the ranks to finish the season with two Group One victories, in the Prix du Moulin and the QEII.

“Baaeed hasn’t started fast work yet, but he’s doing well. He’s had a good winter and he’s done lots of conditioning work. He’ll go straight to Newbury. There’s not a chance of him running anywhere first,” said Haggas.

“The plan would be to go to Newbury and then Royal Ascot and then see where we are. I think the interesting thing then is when, if ever, are we going to go up in trip with him. He’s a brother to Hukum and bred to get further, but while he’s so good at a mile there’s no need to.”

Though the ground was soft when Baaeed won the QEII, Haggas feels the Shadwell-owned colt can handle any conditions.

“There was an element of relief when he won the QEII. We hoped he was up to it and he proved that he was, but I still don’t believe he needs that ground, which was pretty soft in my book,” said the Newmarket handler.

“He’s got some good form on that ground, but if the ground at Newbury came up quick it wouldn’t bother me at all. It will be fine for him, I’m sure.

“Baaeed didn’t start racing until last June, and after just six runs we all hope there’s more to come. You can never be sure, and it’s possible he won’t be as good, but all of the signs are suggesting he might be just as good at four, if not better, so we have to hope that’s the case.”

Haggas has also entered Aldaary, who completed a Champions Day double for the stable when justifying favouritism in the Balmoral Handicap.

He said: “Aldaary has never run in a stakes race yet, but he’s a good horse on heavy ground, and a straight track suits him very well. He got that at Ascot, where he goes very well, and there’s no reason Newbury wouldn’t suit him just as well. Just occasionally it’s been very soft for the Lockinge, and if that’s the case Aldaary will be in there pitching too.”

Others among the 18 quality entries are last year’s 1000 Guineas winner Mother Earth from the Aidan O’Brien stable, Alcohol Free, winner of both the Coronation and Sussex Stakes for Andrew Balding, and the Joseph O’Brien-trained State Of Rest, who captured Australia’s signature weight-for-age contest, the Cox Plate, in 2021.

There are two entries from France, both trained by Francis Graffard who has nominated The Revenant, the 2020 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes victor who finished fourth behind Baaeed at Ascot last year, and the Group Three winner Dilawar.

Haggas eager for 2022 campaign with Baaeed

William Haggas is looking forward to seeing Baaeed in action next year having guided him to an unbeaten three-year-old season.

Baaeed has enjoyed a rapid ascent to the top of the tree as he was unraced as a juvenile and did not make his racecourse debut until the week of the Derby.

He ended his campaign by toppling Europe’s best miler in Palace Pier in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, with defending champion The Revenant even further behind, confirming Baaeed’s position in the top rank.

“I don’t think John (Gosden) was happy with Frankie’s ride on Palace Pier, but Jim felt he had him covered all the way,” said Haggas.

“We were expecting Palace Pier to attack in good time, but they crawled for the first furlong and I think Frankie thought he had the front ones covered, but Baaeed was always travelling well and I think he won OK in the end.

“Of course I’m looking forward to next year – as long as he stays right both physically and mentally – and he’s been a delight to train so far. He’ll be a fun horse to have next year.

“It’s terrific to have one of the best three-year-olds in Europe, probably.”

Baaeed’s path to the top – being unraced at two to winning Group Ones at three – mirrored Sea Of Class, who Haggas trained to be beaten just a nose in the 2018 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Sea of Class was another top-notcher trained by Haggas who did not run at two
Sea of Class was another top-notcher trained by Haggas who did not run at two (Tim Goode/PA)

“Sea Of Class was a brilliant filly and she also stayed well. She unfortunately died as a four-year-old. I shouldn’t have run her at Ascot that year (on soft ground in the 2019 Prince of Wales’s Stakes), but I won’t make that mistake again,” he said.

“She was exceptional and she was possibly a bit unfortunate in the Arc. She jumped straight into a Listed race on her second start having got beat in her maiden.

“Baaeed was a bit different, he needed a novice race and then the Listed before a Group Three and two Group Ones, so his rise has been pretty amazing too.”

Haggas admits he never envisaged Baaeed as a top miler given he is by Sea The Stars and his full brother Hukum has won at up to 14 furlongs.

“A lot of mine that don’t run at two I’m pretty sure are OK. I can’t remember why he didn’t run, he may have been immature, may have had a few niggles and then it went very soft, so I didn’t want to run him,” said Haggas.

“I’m also not a huge lover of the all-weather. Obviously we have quite a lot of runners on it, but I don’t like running two-year-olds on it. Sometimes you have to but if I know they are quite good, they don’t run.

“I never saw him as a Guineas horse because I saw him as a stayer given how well his brother (Hukum) stays.”

Monday Musings: Champions

An epic Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday definitely settled one major argument and all but decided another, writes Tony Stafford. In all honesty though, Murphy versus Buick and Appleby contra the Gosdens were the sideshows to an overwhelming afternoon for the Shadwell Estate Company, Jim Crowley and William Haggas.

There was a tinge of irony in the fact that in the week after the announcement of an admittedly expected but still shocking major reduction in the number of horses in the blue and white colours of the late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, Shadwell won half the races.

Most – me at the head of that particular queue – expected a John and Thady Gosden benefit. But in the opening stayers’ race, Stradivarius suffered another defeat at the hands not only of Trueshan but 50-1 shot Tashkhan who came through late to give Brian Ellison a scarcely credible second place.

So once again Hollie Doyle was the nemesis for Frankie Dettori. He had accused racing’s favourite and most talented female rider of setting an inadequate pace on a pacemaker when the pair were riding for Aidan O’Brien in the Prix Vermeille on Arc Trials Day.

Dettori was on the unbackable Snowfall that day, previously a triple Oaks winner in the summer, including at Epsom under the Italian, but was turned over by Roger Varian’s Teona. Frankie reckoned Hollie got the pace wrong, but horses are supposed to run on their merits and in the event La Joconde was only a half-length behind the superstar in third. If that smacked of sour grapes, on Saturday it was more a case of sour face.

Riding his favourite horse the now slightly faltering multiple champion stayer Stradivarius, Dettori came back boiling, now blaming young Irish rider Dylan Browne McMonagle for twice blocking his run. My view of the closing stages was that any inconvenience could hardly have been of the order of four lengths – the margin by which he was behind Trueshan. McMonagle, far from bowed by the old-timer’s complaints, quite rightly called it “just race-riding”.

The fastest finisher of the front three was undoubtedly Tashkhan, who started out in 2021 having joined Ellison from Emmet Mullins on a mark of 70. He was already up to 106 by Saturday and no doubt will have earned another hike. For Trueshan and his owners, who include Andrew Gemmell, his exploits entitle him to be the year’s top stayer.

I felt it worth starting out on Grumpy Frankie, who in a magical career of well over 30 years has had more than his fair share of good fortune – and leniency from the authorities - notably that day with the seven winners on the same racecourse. That was the year when I had just finished writing his “autobiography”, a Year in the Life of Frankie Dettori. Come off it Frankie, imagine how many times you’ve got in someone’s way when they thought they had a race in the bag!

But we move back to Shadwell. Two of their three winners on the day were home-breds. These were Baaeed, emphatic winner of the QE II Stakes and Eshaada, another Roger Varian filly to lower the colours of Snowfall, again below par in third in the Fillies’ and Mares’ race. After the brilliance of her trio of summer Group 1 wins at Epsom, The Curragh and York Snowfall may just be feeling the cumulative erosion caused by those efforts – not least her sixth in the Arc just two weeks previously. Varian must be thinking she’s his Patsy!

The third Shadwell winner was like the other two, a progressive three-year-old. William Haggas had not even revealed Baaeed to the racing public until June 7 of his three-year-old career but in the intervening 18 weeks he had won four more times including at Longchamp. Here the son of Sea The Stars was faced with the Gosdens’ Palace Pier, the highest-rated horse in Europe last year.

That status has been usurped by last weekend’s Arc hero Torquator Tasso. Baaeed was a most convincing winner and must have a massive future. Whether it will be that much more glorious than what we will see from Haggas’s other winner in the same colours cannot be certain. Aldaary, by Territories, had won a handicap on the same track two weeks earlier, the 6lb penalty for which brought his mark in Saturday’s closing Balmoral Handicap to 109. No problem as he proved to be the proverbial group horse running in a handicap by galloping away from 19 others under an exultant Crowley in a time only 0.07sec slower than the Group 1.

If there was an element of sadness around Hamdan’s colours winning half the races on that massive day, for me there was just as much poignancy about Aldaary’s success. The breeder is listed as M E Broughton, slightly disguising the identity of a man who equally hid behind the name of the Essex-based company he built, Broughton Thermal Insulation, in his many years as an enthusiastic owner-breeder.

Michael died last year – as did his wife Carol – and that after a career where the Racing Post Statistics reveal more than 100 winners in his sole name. He won races in all but two of the 33 seasons for which the Racing Post carries statistics, and in his final days actually won four to get him past the century.

He was a one-trainer owner, relying on the always-reticent Wille Musson and when the trainer retired five years ago, he stayed on as Broughton’s racing manager. Clever man that Willie Musson.
Michael was a jovial red-faced enthusiast and for a few years he used to ask me to go through the Cheltenham card on the days when he entertained a table of friends. These included his loyal PA, Maggie and Michael’s brother Roger as well as the Mussons, in the main restaurant at the Cheltenham Festival.

All his horses carried the prefix Broughtons (sometimes with an apostrophe before the “s”) and Broughtons Revival won three races of the four she competed in on turf as against a winless five appearances on all-weather, of course for Musson.

Retired to stud she had six foals before Aldaary and five of them are winners. No wonder Aldaary realised 55,000gns as a foal to the bid of Johnny McKeever at the 2018 December sales and then, re-submitted the following year in Book 2 of the October Yearling Sale, jumped up to 150,000gns to Shadwell. More than 150 Shadwell horses are due to go under the hammer at the Horses in Training Sale next week. I doubt that Aldaary, who holds the entry, will be sporting the insignia of Lot 1308 at Park Paddocks, rather enjoying some down time back at Somerville Lodge.
However sad it was that Sheikh Hamdan could not enjoy his day of days, I have much more regret that Michael was unable to enjoy seeing by far the best horse he has ever bred over all those years. Willie and Judy Musson will have been pleased as punch no doubt.

Earlier in the piece I suggested that Snowfall might not have fully recovered from her demanding run in the mud of Longchamp 13 days earlier, but the horse that finished one place ahead of her that afternoon stepped up to win the Champion Stakes thereby unseating Mishriff, the second Gosden ace in the hole.

That top-class globe-trotting winner of more than £10 million had sat out the Arc presumably to save his energies for Ascot, but shockingly, he didn’t last home, fading to fourth as Sealiway and Mickael Barzalona strode forward. Dubai Honour made a great show in second for the Haggas team and Classic winner Mac Swiney was third ahead of Mishriff thereby keeping Jim Bolger well in the action hard on the news that his other star of 2021 Poetic Flare is off to a stud career in Japan.

Sealiway had benefited from the traditional French way of training top-class three-year-olds. He had not run for almost four months before his Arc challenge having been runner-up a length and a half behind St Mark’s Basilica in the Prix Du Jockey Club.

Trained then by F Rossi, he switched to Cedric Rossi during the layoff and this convincing victory showed him as a high-class performer and one that is sure to be a major force in European and world racing over ten and twelve furlongs for the next year or so.

Elsewhere, Oisin Murphy held on to win a third title, but I understand there might still be some uncomfortable moments for him. He is a wonderful jockey and we have to hope he can overcome his demons. William Buick’s strong challenge will have given this unassuming young man the confidence that a championship is within his grasp especially as the Charlie Appleby stable remains so powerful.

Last week I suggested the Gosdens had more than enough firepower to claw back the half-million or so deficit they had on Godolphin’s main trainer, but in the event they retrieved barely ten per cent of it on Champions Day. Admittedly the season and therefore the title race in name continues until December 31 but big John and son Thady have no realistic chance of breaching the gap.
Creative Force won the sprint for Charlie and William and a touch more than £300k in the second race of the six. With his main rival surprisingly failing to get a winner on the day – especially the QE II and Champion Stakes, worth considerably more than £1.1 million that looked at their mercy - Appleby assuredly will win his first title after a period when John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien have been dominant.

The massive crowd and good weather and not least fair ground made for a wonderful day – on the tenth anniversary of the lavish Qipco sponsorship. A couple of friends managed to secure tickets for the owners’ lunchroom and Kevin and Dave had a wonderful time. The staff seemed overrun at times but the very pleasant greeter at the top of the stairs was a superlative advertisement for the hospitality trade.

The smile never left her face and then later in the afternoon I was quite surprised to see her carrying out a heavy load of rubbish to the bins. On suggesting that might be someone else’s job, she replied: “They are so busy and have been working very hard, it’s only fair!” What a woman!

At the end of the afternoon, when Dave, having enjoyed a fairly long and liquid lunch, mistook a step and fell headlong down half a flight of stairs, again the staff were quick to come to his aid, calling immediately for the medics. Dave, 78, was pronounced okay so we were cleared to go off to an evening at an Essex hostelry to complete a lovely day. And while I was fully aware of my chauffeuring requirements, the boys made a night of it and true to form were up and ready to go early on Sunday morning with Kevin, I know, supervising the action at his shellfish cabin in Billericay.

- TS

Glorious scenes at Ascot as Sheikh Hamdan’s silks record famous hat-trick

There were emotional scenes in the Ascot winner’s enclosure after the brilliant Baaeed starred in a treble for the late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Shadwell operation on Qipco Champions Day.

Seven months on from the prominent owner’s death, the blue and white silks that have been synonymous with so many equine greats over the years were once again in the spotlight on the richest raceday of the British Flat season.

While the success of Roger Varian’s Eshaada in the Fillies & Mares Stakes came as a surprise to many, much was expected of Baaeed as he put his unbeaten record and huge reputation on the line in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

What followed was a race for the ages as the William Haggas-trained three-year-old outgunned his older and more proven top-class rival Palace Pier by a neck, leaving Sheikh Hamdan’s long-time racing manager and close friend Angus Gold struggling to fight back the tears.

“Sheikh Hamdan would have loved this. It’s a huge day for the team and Sheikh Hamdan’s family to sort of mark his legacy in the year he died,” he said.

“It’s fantastic to have two Group One winners. To have one is enough, but to have two and for this horse (Baaeed) who has shown so much all the way through to win again is brilliant.”

Palace Pier was the narrow favourite at the off at at 6-4, with Baaeed – who did not make his debut until appearing at Leicester in early June – a 2-1 shot under Jim Crowley.

Baaeed was travelling much the better of the pair racing inside the final two furlongs, but Palace Pier gritted his teeth to make a race of it and there was just a neck between them at the line.

Angus Gold was emotional at Ascot
Angus Gold was emotional at Ascot (Mike Egerton/PA)

Gold added: “Everyone was asking beforehand ‘what do you think?’. I just said we’d let the race tell us as he’s never beaten a horse of Palace Pier’s class before.

“What a fantastic horse race it was. At the three-furlong pole I looked at Frankie (Dettori, on Palace Pier) and thought ‘fantastic, we’ve got you’ – but he was still there at the end and was only just beaten, so it shows what a tough horse he is.

“Palace Pier had done it all before whereas we still had to prove it. He had a proper fight on his hands and thankfully he proved man enough for it.”

Shadwell, who went on to complete the hat-trick with Baaeed’s stablemate Aldaary in the Balmoral Handicap, announced last month it would slim down its operations in the UK, Ireland and America, “to focus on quality and competition at the highest level of the sport”.

But Gold is hopeful the colours will continue to be a major force in the sport next season and beyond, with Baaeed primed to captain the team.

“Obviously it was a huge operation and I think they just felt we needed to trim it, which is perfectly understandable,” said Gold.

“We’ve got a lot of horses going to the sales in the next few weeks, so we’ll see what we’re left with.

“We’re hoping to keep some of the best ones and obviously we’ve got some yearlings to come into training next year, so I think there’ll still be a fair few horses there.

“I think compared to most owners, it will be a fairly sizeable team.”

Of Baaeed, he added: “I’m amazed how much speed he has, with his pedigree. He’s a full-brother to Hukum, who as we know stays a mile and a half well.

“He’s a charming horse who always wants to please, so to see him win a stallion-making race – which is very important for the breeding – was a huge thrill.

“I don’t remember many that have done it so quickly and he’s never taken a backwards step, that’s what’s been so extraordinary for me.

“He hasn’t had a particularly hard life so far and has done what we’ve asked him the whole way through, so I can’t see why he wouldn’t go on.”

Crowley was aboard all three winners, and was quick to pay his own tribute to Sheikh Hamdan.

He said: “For me it was one of the best days racing that I’ve seen, let alone to have been a part of. Fantastic horses running today and so nice to have crowds back, it was a big plus.

“Sheikh Hamdan I’m sure is looking down. It’s so sad that he can’t be here, because he would absolutely been buzzing today. Hopefully his daughter, Sheikha Hissa, is watching and she will be over the moon. He loved Ascot.”

Baaeed stays unbeaten in pulsating QEII victory

Baaeed maintained his unbeaten record as he lowered the colours of Palace Pier in a top-class renewal of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

The William Haggas-trained colt only made his racecourse debut in June – but has a perfect record of six after winning a second successive Group One following his victory in the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp.

Benbatl set a sedate early pace from last year’s winner The Revenant, before the gallop picked up from halfway. The 10 runners congregated on the far side with Baaeed having to make his challenge on the outside from his wide draw.

Baaeed (2-1) was travelling well for Jim Crowley and he soon got into a battle with market rival and five-time Group One scorer Palace Pier, the 6-4 favourite in the hands of Frankie Dettori.

Both gave their all and it was Baaeed who crossed the line a neck in front of the game runner-up, to give owners Shadwell Estate and Crowley a quick big-race double after the victory of Eshaada in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.

Lady Bowthorpe (40-1) stayed on strongly to be just a length and a quarter behind in third in her last race before she is retired to the paddocks.

Haggas said: “Could you believe we’d be standing here at the start of the season? What a silly question. He’s done it.

“He’s won today. I think Jim’s words were he coped with the ground, rather than loved it, and he’s beaten the best miler in Europe so what can you say? I’m thrilled to bits. I’m shaking.

“I watched it while I was walking around a bit trying to get up my 10,000 steps a day and I’ve succeeded in that. That was great.”

Jim Crowley celebrates with Baaeed
Jim Crowley celebrates with Baaeed (Steven Paston/PA)

He added: “I need to watch it again because I was sort of only half-watching and listening to it, but to be champion miler on ground which Jim thought he coped with but no more…

“I thought he travelled very well and won. He’s very good isn’t he. He always worked nicely and he’s always had speed.

“I believe he will stay in training, but he’s finished for the year now, he’s done all he needs to do.

“I don’t know whether he’ll stay a mile and a quarter, but he may well do.”

A jubilant Crowley said: “I think he could be a world champion. He’s just a beast, he keeps getting better.

“The ground was a bit slow for him and on quicker ground I think he would pick up better, but he’s come a long way in a short space of time and he’s a proper champion.

“I know Sheikh Hamdan will be looking down, smiling, and I owe him everything, he gave me this opportunity, he chose me to be his jockey and although he’s not here to see it, it’s nice to be able to repay him.”

On plans, Shadwell racing manager Angus Gold said: “The plan always was to (return next season). I’d always imagined he was going to be better at a mile and a quarter, but I’ll have to slightly eat my words now.

“Discussions will have to be had with the family and see what they want to do, but I would hope he’ll be back next season.

“He won’t be going to the Breeders’ Cup. He’s done everything we could possibly ask him and from our point of view, we need him as a stallion.

“I don’t think he has to go there to prove himself. Let’s hope we see him next year.”

Palace Pier with Frankie Dettori ahead of the QEII
Palace Pier with Frankie Dettori ahead of the QEII (Steven Paston/PA)

John Gosden said of Palace Pier, who now heads for stud: “Frankie (Dettori) said it was a slowly-run race and I think if he rode it again he would have committed sooner rather than spending his time looking round. I think he should have committed earlier. This horse stays a mile well.

“The winner is a nice horse, but ridden again I think we would have been a little bolder.

“It’s likely that Palace Pier will go to stud now. He’s a fabulous horse, is good looking, has run with consistency in Group One races throughout his career and I think he will be an exciting horse to go to stud.”

Lady Bowthorpe is heading for the paddocks
Lady Bowthorpe is heading for the paddocks (John Walton/PA)

Lady Bowthorpe has been brilliant for William Jarvis this year, and he paid tribute to his hugely-popular mare.

He said: “That effort just shows what a great mare she is. I’m thrilled. And yet I’m also very sad to see her go (to the paddocks). She owes us nothing and we are so very lucky to have had her.

“It’s a great story, ending in her putting on a career-best against the best two milers in the world. I have a good idea where she will go, and let me say it will be a quite expensive mating.”

Baaeed bidding to prove his worth in clash of the miling titans

Baaeed has the chance to prove he is a superstar in waiting, in what is a fascinating renewal of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Unraced until June this year, the William Haggas-trained colt has made giant strides with each run and last time out proved he could cut the mustard at the highest level in the Prix du Moulin.

Despite maintaining his unbeaten record, though, Haggas felt he was not quite at his peak that day and in any case, he will have to take his form up another notch against Palace Pier, the best miler in Europe.

“The bit that none of us know, and that includes me, is what he’s got left as he’s going to be tested. I know Jim (Crowley) is very fond of him and he’s a very, very lovely horse to deal with,” said Haggas.

“I couldn’t see, in my initial reading of it, where the pace was going to come from, but it’s a very strong race. It’s a championship race and it’s probably the best mile race of the season.

“All I’ll say is that if he wins on Saturday then the people who have been building him up were right. It is extraordinary, everyone wants him to go maiden, novice, Listed, Group Three, Group One.

“What we really want is to do what Sea The Stars did, which was to go from the Juddmonte to the Irish Champion Stakes and the Arc de Triomphe. That’s the ideal career and this horse, to use a popular expression, has danced every dance so far.

“I’m not a punter, but I’d have Palace Pier at even money, no questions, and be 3-1 with Baaeed. What they are in the market is irrelevant, I think he’s as short as he is on potential, but he hasn’t really got going.”

Reflecting on the Moulin, Haggas said: “I was really pleased with him at Longchamp, but we’d had a bit of a hiccup and I don’t want to undermine the horses that finished behind, but I’m pretty sure we didn’t see him at his best.

“If we get to Saturday all in one piece, you’ll see the best of him.”

The standard is well and truly set by Palace Pier, trained by John and Thady Gosden. The one blemish on his 10-race record came in the corresponding race 12 months ago – on deep ground when he also lost two shoes.

Thady Gosden said: “It looks a great race, I’m looking forward to it, but obviously there are some nerves for sure.

“He’s been in good form since the Jacques le Marois and everyone has been happy with him at home.

“Baaeed looks the big danger, he’s the horse coming through the ranks and won a Group One last time.

“This race last year is the only blemish on his record, he’s an exceptional racehorse but it was frustrating with the ground last year and he lost two shoes which in that ground will hinder your chances.

“Whether this is his last race, it’s a decision for his owners after the race.”

Jeff Smith has been lucky enough to have owned and bred some fantastic horses during a long involvement in the game – and he feels Alcohol Free, a three-time Group One winner, is right up with the best of them.

Oisin Murphy salutes the crowd as Alcohol Free wins the Sussex Stakes
Oisin Murphy salutes the crowd as Alcohol Free wins the Sussex Stakes (John Walton/PA)

The Andrew Balding-trained filly has had a break since failing to stay 10 furlongs in the Juddmonte International.

“Obviously I’m looking forward to it and it’s one hell of a race. It brings all the strands of form together and it’s certainly the highlight of the day – for me anyway!” said Smith

“She’s already beaten the colts once this year (Sussex Stakes), there was cut in the ground at Goodwood so that won’t be an issue, it’s just going to be a case of best horse on the day, which is as it should be.

“She had a break at the stud for about 10 days after York, put on a bit of weight, it was absolutely perfect. I haven’t seen her since she went back to Andrew’s, but by all accounts she’s in cracking form.

“Of all my horses she’d have to be the best, you don’t win three Group Ones without being top class. She’s achieved a lot in a season and a half.

“This will be it for the season, she won’t be going abroad but she stays in training next year.”

Mother Earth winning the 1000 Guineas under Frankie Dettori
Mother Earth winning the 1000 Guineas under Frankie Dettori (Mike Egerton/PA)

Aidan O’Brien’s Mother Earth has had 15 outings in two seasons, an incredible amount considering all bar her racecourse debut have been at Group level.

She won the 1000 Guineas back in May, added the Prix Rothschild in August and has not been out of the first three all season.

O’Brien said: “Mother Earth ran a good race in the Sun Chariot in Newmarket where the winner came up the other side. She is very consistent. She turned around the Matron Stakes form (with No Speak Alexander) by four or five lengths.”

Saeed bin Suroor has been absent from the season-defining mile contest for some time – but his old favourite Benbatl gives him a puncher’s chance.

“He came back good from his last race and is working well,” said Bin Suroor, who has won the QEII a record five times, most recently with Poet’s Voice in 2010.

“The ground is good at this moment. There are showers around, but if the ground stays as it is that would be great.

“The jockey (Pat Cosgrave) knows him well – he won a Group One in Australia on him (in 2017).

“The horse is in good form and good condition. It’s a very strong race with some of best milers in the world, but hopefully we will see a good run from Benbatl again.”

William Jarvis has elected to run Lady Bowthorpe here rather than in the Champion Stakes and said: “Once I saw that the Derby winner Adayar was running in the Champion as well as Mishriff it wasn’t a difficult decision. I don’t think we could beat either of them, but we might be competitive in the mile race.

“Nothing emerged after the Deauville race (beat only one), although she didn’t settle in the stables despite having travelled over there well. I’ve been delighted with her since and we are all looking forward to this.”

Adding further spice is Master Of The Seas, as the 2000 Guineas runner-up has his second outing since his comeback in the Joel Stakes won by Benbatl.

Trainer Charlie Appleby is hoping to head next to the Breeders’ Cup Mile – and the QEII is this year a ‘win and you’re in’ contest for that race.

The Moulton Paddocks handler told the Goldolphin website: “Master Of The Seas has pleased us since his reappearance (third) in the Joel Stakes last month. He is mentally maturing. The hood is removed this time. This is his stepping stone to Del Mar.”

Palace Pier and Baaeed face off in QEII

Palace Pier and Baaeed will clash in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained Palace Pier has been beaten only once in his career, when defeated by three and a half lengths behind The Revenant in this race last season.

Since then the colt has been faultless over the same mile trip, beginning his season with an eight-length success in the bet365 Mile and then going on to score a Group One treble that included the Lockinge, Queen Anne and Prix Jacques le Marois.

Palace Pier and Frankie Dettori, who takes the ride at Ascot on Saturday
Palace Pier and Frankie Dettori, who takes the ride at Ascot on Saturday (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Palace Pier’s chief rival appears to be the unbeaten Shadwell colt Baaeed, who has been a comfortable winner in each of his five runs from maiden to Group One level.

Trained by William Haggas, the three-year-old was a six-and-a-half-length winner of the Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood and then went to take the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp on his last outing.

William Haggas' Baaeed
William Haggas’ Baaeed (Tim Goode/PA)

Andrew Balding’s Alcohol Free is also declared and will look to bounce back from a sixth-placed run when last seen in the Juddmonte International at York.

Prior to that the filly had twice been a Group One winner this season, taking the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

The Revenant bids to retain his title in the race after prevailing by a head last season for trainer Francis-Henri Graffard.

The chestnut has not been victorious in three runs this season, but was beaten by just a short neck when bidding for a third Prix Daniel Wildenstein at Longchamp earlier in the month.

The Revenant winning the race last season with Palace Pier on his left
The Revenant winning the race last season with Palace Pier on his left (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Charlie Appleby is represented by 2000 Guineas runner-up Master Of The Seas, who went on to finish third in the Group Two Joel Stakes at Newmarket in September.

The winner of that race was Saeed bin Suroor’s Benbatl, who shares an owner with Master Of The Seas in the shape of Godolphin and is also entered at Ascot on Saturday.

William Jarvis’ Lady Bowthorpe will look to regain the form that saw her win the Group One Nassau Stakes at Goodwood after a disappointing run when seventh of eight last time in the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville in August.

Mother Earth after winning the 1000 Guineas
Mother Earth after winning the 1000 Guineas (Mike Egerton/PA)

Aidan O’Brien’s Mother Earth will be contesting her eighth consecutive Group One race this term, with the filly having won both the 1000 Guineas and the Prix Rothschild in a campaign that has seen her finish no worse than third each time.

Jessica Harrington’s Njord and David O’Meara’s Lord Glitters round off the field of 10 contenders.

Baaeed raring to go as Haggas primes Champions Day squad

William Haggas has enjoyed one of the best seasons of his illustrious career – but it really could end with a bang at Ascot on Qipco British Champions Day.

Haggas has a chance with Hamish (owned and bred by his father, Brian) in the Long Distance Cup, the unbeaten Baaeed in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, three live chances in the Champion Stakes and another three in the Balmoral Handicap.

He has not been able to get carried away by the build up, however, as the meeting is coming hot on the heels of the prestigious Tattersalls Sales, the busiest weeks in the calendar for trainers – and even then his attention is not solely on Ascot this weekend.

“We’ve got a runner on Friday afternoon in Belmont (Spirit Of Bermuda), we’ve a runner on Saturday afternoon in Keeneland (Cloudy Dawn) and we’ve a runner in Paris on Sunday afternoon (My Astra), so it’s flat out,” said Haggas.

A fortnight ago the Sommerville Lodge handler saddled eight winners on a single afternoon – a feat that was generally lost seeing as it came on the same weekend as the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

“I’ve been trying to find out on the Flat how many people had done this,” said Haggas.

“I went to Mark Johnston and he’d done seven, I don’t think Richard Hannon has done it and Richard Fahey hasn’t done it, so I don’t know who else could have done it in this era – obviously there’s much more racing than in the old days. We’re very proud of it.”

But while numerically Haggas is setting new standards for himself, he is determined to make more of a mark at the very top of the sport.

Haggas, just behind the principals in fourth in the trainers’ championship, said: “We don’t win enough Group Ones in England, we’ve won a lot of stakes races this year – all over – but we’d obviously like to win some more Group Ones here. They are quite hard to win you know, strangely enough.

“For the first time ever (Andrew) Balding is cheering us on this weekend – as well as his – because he knows we’re not a threat, but I could knock out (John) Gosden and (Charlie) Appleby if our horses win!”

In the opening Long Distance Cup Haggas runs both Hamish and Roberto Escobarr. But there is no doubt the former is his main chance.

“Hamish and Roberto Escobarr will run. I believe the ground will be on the soft side of good, it will probably be dead, and that will suit Hamish. He’s not bad, he’s in good form and did his last bit this morning, he looks great,” said Haggas.

“Providing the next three days go well he’ll run with Tom Marquand on board.

“That day we lost to Trueshan (October 2019), who has come a long way since then, we were gutted. There were only four runners and we were 4-7 favourite and I was mortified! Subsequent events – while Hamish recovered from his tendon injury – have been very heartening for us.

“I have to say Roberto is better on top of the ground so it might be a bit dead for him.”

Baaeed has come such a long way since making his debut in June, winning the Prix du Moulin last time out.

“A lot of people have said a lot about this horse, but you probably won’t have heard a lot from me. Whilst I’ve been very impressed with what he’s done in such a short space of time, he’s got an enormous task on Saturday,” said Haggas.

Baaeed has looked imperious this season
Baaeed has looked imperious this season (Tim Goode/PA)

“Not only is there Palace Pier but there’s Alcohol Free, possibly Mother Earth and last year’s winner The Revenant and maybe even Benbatl – lots of good horses.

“I was really pleased with him at Longchamp and without undermining those behind him we’d had a little hiccup and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t at his best. If I can get him there as he is now you’ll see the best of him on Saturday.”

To have one horse good enough to run in the Champion Stakes takes some doing, but Haggas has three legitimate contenders in last year’s winner Addeybb, the improving Dubai Honour and the enigmatic Al Aasy.

“Addeybb’s ideal ground is when it passes an inspection on the morning of the race. This will be soft, but I’m not sure it will be soft enough for him. He loves Ascot and his record right-handed is fantastic. But this is a hugely competitive, fantastic race,” said Haggas.

Addeybb (left) was a game winner of the Champion Stakes last year
Addeybb (left) was a game winner of the Champion Stakes last year (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“Mishriff was awesome at York and I could do without Adayar – if Charlie was 10th in the championship I think he’d be back at Godolphin having a rest! He’s a very good horse and I’d be frightened of him – even over a mile and a quarter.

“Al Aasy has been called all sorts. We know he doesn’t find as much as it looks like he might under pressure so I hope his jockey waits a bit, at Newbury he went three and a half furlongs from home and exposed him.

“The horse is much better than that, he should have won there and we’ll see what he has to offer. He may not be good enough, but he’s talented and he’s no mug. He’s a very good horse and has been rubbished by everyone.

“Dubai Honour was supplemented for £75,000 which is steep enough, but the owner was keen. James (Doyle) said he showed a very smart turn of foot in the (Prix) Dollar.

“There’s nothing else for him until Hong Kong in December and when I suggested it the owner nearly bit my hand off.

“I’m also going to run all three in the Balmoral as I’m desperately trying to knock John’s horse Sunray Major out as I think he’s a certainty! Unfortunately he has too above him himself so he could take those out if he wants.

“We’ll run our three, but I think John’s is a good thing if he gets in.”

He added: “We usually have one or two runners on Champions Day. This year we have nine and we’re thrilled to be involved. The big horses are Baaeed, Hamish, Addeybb and Dubai Honour, but I love Al Aasy and the other four are perfectly entitled to be there. We’re blessed to have so many nice horses.”

Palace Pier and Baaeed star among 10 QEII hopefuls

Champion miler Palace Pier heads up a total of 10 confirmations for Saturday’s mouthwatering Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained four-year-old has only lost once in his 10-race career but that defeat did come in this race 12 months ago.

Connections blamed the testing ground on that occasion but with the weather set fair this week, better conditions are anticipated.

John Gosden said: “It was frustrating when Palace Pier had to miss the Sussex Stakes with that blood disorder but he has since won the Prix Jacques Le Marois and it was always the intention after that to wait for this race.

“He’s been training well and he’ll appreciate what will hopefully be nicer ground than last year. A little over a week ago it was bottomless, and while we don’t expect it to dry out to good to firm, it won’t be like that.”

Palace Pier is set to clash with William Haggas’ hitherto unbeaten Baaeed in what promises to be a highlight on Qipco British Champions Day.

The three-year-old has come from nowhere this season and was unraced until June, but took the step up to Group One company with aplomb when winning the Prix du Moulin last time out.

Haggas said: “With the likes of Palace Pier and Alcohol Free in the field it could be the race of the day, but Baaeed’s preparation has gone well and he’s in good shape. He’s a nice horse and he’s come a long way in a short space of time.”

Last year’s winner The Revenant is back again for French trainer Frances-Henri Graffard.

Following a couple of defeats on unsuitably fast ground in the spring, he returned to something like his best when a fast finishing second to Real World in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein on Arc weekend.

The Revenant relished the mud last year but conditions are set to be quicker
The Revenant relished the mud last year but conditions are set to be quicker (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Andrew Balding’s filly Alcohol Free is another top-class contender who in any other year would be among the favourites. She beat the boys in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood and has been on a small break since failing to see out 10 furlongs in the Juddmonte International at York.

Aidan O’Brien’s Mother Earth has been on the go since winning the 1000 Guineas and has been admirably consistent, most recently finishing second to Saffron Beach in the Sun Chariot.

Saeed bin Suroor has left in his stable stalwart Benbatl, who returned to winning ways last time out and he will be enthused by the forecast, while his Godolphin compatriot Charlie Appleby could run Master Of The Seas.

Kieran Shoemark punches the air after Lady Bowthorpe's Nassau Stakes win
Kieran Shoemark punches the air after Lady Bowthorpe’s Nassau Stakes win (John Walton/PA)

William Jarvis’ Lady Bowthorpe was one of the most popular winners of the season in the Nassau Stakes, but she needs to bounce back having disappointed in the Prix Jean Romanet.

David O’Meara’s veteran Lord Glitters and the Jessica Harrington-trained Njord – both previous winners of the Balmoral Handicap which closes the Ascot card – complete the field.

Addeybb set for Goodwood ahead of Champions Day

William Haggas is tuning up his two big guns for Champions Day, with Addeybb set to run at Goodwood on Wednesday should conditions allow.

The current Champion Stakes title holder has not been seen since running with credit behind St Mark’s Basilica in the Eclipse in July, finishing in front of subsequent Juddmonte International winner Mishriff.

While he was entered at Ayr and Newbury on Saturday, Haggas felt the ground would be too quick, and with the prospect of rain this weekend and the Foundation Stakes at Goodwood on Wednesday available, he has decided to wait.

He will be joined at Ascot next month by the unbeaten Baaeed, who is set to have a mouthwatering clash with Palace Pier in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

“The ground wasn’t soft enough for Addeybb this weekend but he needs a run, so we’ve put him in at Goodwood on Wednesday,” said Haggas.

“He’ll almost nearly have to run there, but I didn’t want to flog him up to Ayr when the forecast I saw said the rain, which they thought was coming on Friday, has dissipated now.

“It’s a shame but Goodwood will be fine, hopefully. They are due some rain at the weekend and I’m hoping they get plenty.”

Baaeed has emerged as one of the best horses in training
Baaeed has emerged as one of the best horses in training (Tim Goode/PA)

Baaeed handled the step up to Group Once company when winning the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp, beating the Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Order Of Australia to stretch his winning run to five.

“Baaeed is in good shape and aiming for the QEII,” said Haggas.

“We’re planning to run at Ascot, but if it’s bottomless we may have to think again.

“He’s been fine since the race and the I think that race will have done him good and I’m happy with him.”

‘You have to go for it’ – Dettori ready for Palace Pier v Baaeed in QEII

Frankie Dettori is relishing the prospect of a clash between Baaeed and Palace Pier in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day.

The popular Italian has been a near ever present in the saddle during Palace Pier’s career to date, missing just one of the Kingman colt’s 10 starts, and they have met with defeat only once – finishing third in testing conditions for last year’s QEII.

John and Thady Gosden’s charge is four from four so far this season, taking his Group One tally to five with triumphs in the Lockinge at Newbury, the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot and the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.

But he looks set to face one of the toughest tests of his career if returning to Berkshire next month, with the William Haggas-trained Baaeed emerging as a serious rival after maintaining his unbeaten record in Sunday’s Prix du Moulin de Longchamp.

“Baaeed looked very impressive in the Moulin,” Dettori said on Monday.

“The races are there. If you’ve got the horses you go for the same races. I’m sure he will turn up.

Frankie Dettori and Palace Pier winning the Lockinge at Newbury
Frankie Dettori and Palace Pier winning the Lockinge at Newbury (John Walton/PA)

“They will all be there. There is nowhere to hide this time of year. You have to take the gloves off and go for it.

“As for Palace Pier, I’m not going to talk negative about him. He’s beaten what’s been put in front of him. Everyone wants to take his title away – and at the moment they have failed.

“Let’s hope it carries on that way.”

Brilliant Baaeed delivers Group One gold at ParisLongchamp

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.

Trainer William Haggas has confirmed Baaeed may well end his season in Ascot's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes next month
Trainer William Haggas has confirmed Baaeed may well end his season in Ascot’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes next month (Nigel French/PA)

“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.”

D-Day looms for Baaeed in Prix du Moulin

Connections of Baaeed are taking nothing for granted ahead of the unbeaten colt’s eagerly-anticipated graduation to the highest level in Sunday’s Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp.

The William Haggas-trained three-year-old did not make his racecourse debut until early June – but less than three months later he is ranked as one of the most exciting horses in Europe.

Since scoring on his introduction at Leicester, Baaeed has treated his rivals with contempt on a couple of occasions at Newmarket before powering clear in the Group Three Thoroughbred Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

The time has come for the son of Sea The Stars to test his powers in Group One company – and with Jim Bolger deciding against declaring his 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes hero Poetic Flare, Baaeed will be a red-hot favourite to make it five from five.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell Estate, said: “He’s going up another couple of grades and there’s no point jumping the gun – let’s see if he’s up to it.

“It’s a shame Jim Bolger’s doesn’t run. Everyone wants to see the good horses run in these races and I’d imagine he’s saving him for the Irish Champion Stakes, which is understandable.

“We’re taking on a very good filly (Snow Lantern) who is obviously a Group One winner already and very highly thought of.

Baaeed - champion in waiting?
Baaeed – champion in waiting? (PA)

“It’s going to be a big test for him and we’ll see if he can live up to the hype now.”

With Baaeed having proved his versatility ground-wise, there are no real concerns regarding underfoot conditions in Paris.

“I’m told it’s going to be nearly good ground. They might get a little bit of rain, but not too much,” Gold added.

“He’s won on good to soft, so I don’t think the ground will worry him unless they get a downpour and it goes heavy or something.”

Snow Lantern after winning the Falmouth Stakes
Snow Lantern after winning the Falmouth Stakes (David Davies/Jockey Club)

Baaeed is joined on the trip across the Channel by Richard Hannon’s Snow Lantern. The daughter of Frankel is a Group One winner already, with a top-level triumph in the Falmouth Stakes sandwiched by creditable placed efforts in the Coronation and the Sussex.

Aidan O’Brien saddles both Order of Australia and Lope Y Fernandez, with Andre Fabre’s Victor Ludorum and Peter Schiergen’s German filly Novemba completing the six-strong field.