Baaeed cemented his position as the world’s highest-rated racehorse with a straightforward success in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot.
Sent off the 1/6 favourite for the opening contest of the Royal Meeting, the unbeaten son of Sea The Stars made it all look very straightforward under Jim Crowley, coming away from runner-up Real World to give trainer William Haggas a first Queen Anne Stakes success.
There were no anxious moments for anyone that took the short odds about Baaeed, who settled well enough behind the front-running Real World down the middle of the track, before Crowley pressed the ‘go’ button just over a furlong out.
The response was fairly immediate and, although Baaeed didn’t pull away in the closing stages, he was always keeping his rivals at bay. Real World was a length and three-quarters behind at the line, with Order Of Australia four lengths further back in third.
William Haggas said: “I thought Baaeed won nicely. He didn’t do a lot really. I need to see it again, but he looked like he tracked the right horse, the second horse [Real World], and won very well. He was not extended really.
“He travels well and settles well. That is a really important part if we are going to go further. I will speak to Sheikha Hissa and Angus Gold, but I think we are all quite keen to give it a go [step up in trip] and that will be at York. It’s whether we slot Goodwood in, in the meantime. It’s potentially Goodwood next.
“He is obviously a good miler and is bred to get further. I think we’d like to try it and I think it would be remiss of us not to. The easy option is to stay at a mile, but I think we will give it a go. He relaxes really well and he is good – he’d be more interesting in a July Cup!”
Jim Crowley said: “It doesn’t get any easier than that. Everything went smoothly. Baaeed got a lovely tow into the race, the ground is beautiful, and I just let him stretch out for the last furlong of the race. It was like clockwork.
“There is a big crowd here today and he is just so relaxed. He has a great mind. Real World stays further and I thought they would go forward. I had a nice bit of cover and could go when I wanted to go. It was just the perfect race really.
“When he moved up at the two-pole, there was never any doubt. I was always pretty confident. He’s a very easy ride and I’m not tied down to riding him a certain way – he’s got a great temperament.
“It’s the pinnacle. You spend your whole life waiting for a horse like this to come along. Everyone says to enjoy it, but there is a lot of pressure. But I love it and I enjoy it. It’s why we do it.
“Sheikh Hamdan would be looking down smiling and I’m so pleased that Sheikha Hissa is here today. William and Maureen Haggas have done an unbelievable job with him and it is a pleasure to get on him and do the steering.
“Baaeed will have sterner tests ahead, we know that. He is just doing everything perfectly at the moment. He gallops out very well over a mile and has a serious turn of foot over a mile – it’s unnatural really. I don’t see 10 furlongs being a problem.
“This horse is a superstar. I’m sure we’ll keep testing him, but I’m pretty sure he’ll keep finding. You wait a lifetime for a horse to come along like this. The only way I can explain the feeling is when you go to the funfair and you’re waiting in the queue for a fast ride, that’s the feeling before you get on him. Once you’re on him and away it’s great – I really enjoy it. He’s a pleasure to ride.”
Saeed bin Suroor said of Real World: “Baaeed is different class, it is the same result as at Newbury in the Lockinge. Real World ran well, he was just beaten by a better horse. He is getting closer, but not close enough!
“I am thinking about a mile and a quarter, maybe the Eclipse in two weeks. I would be keen to run him, but I need to see how he comes back from here. Maybe also the Juddmonte after.”
Danny Tudhope added: “Real World is probably the best miler I have ridden, and then we have to bump into Baaeed! “He has done nothing wrong and I am pretty sure that his Group 1 is just around the corner. He is versatile, he is a good horse.”