Baaeed will bid to make it 10 races unbeaten in Group One Juddmonte International at York on Wednesday; Mishriff and Native Trail among chief rivals, while Aidan O'Brien leaves Point Lonsdale and High Definition in the race
Thursday 11 August 2022 14:37, UK
Baaeed will face a maximum of seven rivals when he puts his unbeaten record on the line in the Juddmonte International at York on Wednesday.
The son of Sea The Stars - who famously won this Group One contest in 2009 - has been the dominant force over a mile for the past two seasons, racking up five top-level victories.
So far this season, the four-year-old has dominated his rivals in the Lockinge at Newbury, the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood - and trainer William Haggas feels the time has come to test the water over a-mile-and-a-quarter.
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"I think he'll stay it, no problem. Whether he's better, I don't know," said the Newmarket handler.
"We planned to go to the Juddmonte very early on. A four-year-old miler of his quality, the programme is very straightforward in the early part of the season. It's Lockinge, Queen Anne, and then the Sussex.
"And then it's sort of do you go for the Moulin or the Jacques le Marois or do you go up in trip? We put him in the Irish Champion Stakes just in case he needed more time between the Sussex and the Juddmonte. And I'm pleased to say everything is on schedule to go next Wednesday.
"He's had lots of publicity recently. He's had lots of cameras this week and he takes it in his stride, much better than his trainer!
"He's got a good temperament. Most of the good ones are a bit tricky. He's just a nice person to have around."
Haggas views York as the perfect stage to step up to 10 furlongs, adding: "It feels right to me. You'd think that he can just sit and wait and let it all unfold and then if his turn of foot is there...
"I think Jim (Crowley) has a lot of confidence in the horse and trusts the horse to quicken. It's really exciting; it's strange to talk about it because he just does it and he's done it every single time."
Baaeed could joined by two stablemates in Alenquer and Dubai Honour, although their participation is ground dependent.
Haggas said: "Dubai Honour wants slow ground. If it's good or good to soft he'll run and so will Alenquer. That's against Baaeed."
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The two biggest threats to Baaeed appear to be Mishriff, so impressive in winning the Juddmonte International for John and Thady Gosden 12 months ago, and Charlie Appleby's Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Native Trail, who was last seen finishing a close third - just behind Mishriff - in the Coral-Eclipse.
Aidan O'Brien has confirmed Point Lonsdale and High Definition, while William Knight's admirable York Stakes winner Sir Busker completes the potential line-up.