Brilliant Baaeed can’t dodge Frankel comparisons after after extending winning run to eight and turning the Queen Anne Stakes into a virtual lap of honour at Royal Ascot
- Baaeed extended his unbeaten run to eight in the Queen Anne Stakes
- The 1-6 favourite eased to a length-and-three-quarter win from Real World
- Frankel, regarded as the best horse in the last 50 years, won all his 14 races
Trainer William Haggas got himself in more of a sweat than Baaeed as the unbeaten colt turned the Queen Anne Stakes into a virtual lap of honour to open the royal meeting.
Haggas admitted he had endured a few fretful hours in the build-up — ‘I had done 6,000 steps by six o’clock this morning, my doctor would be thrilled!’ — as he felt pressure saddling a horse rated the best in the world.
In comparison, watching his 1-6 favourite eased to a length-and-three-quarter win from Real World, with jockey Jim Crowley having heaps more up his sleeve, was a cakewalk.
Baaeed extended his unbeaten run to eight in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot
Ten years after the mighty Frankel stormed to four-length win in the Queen Anne Stakes, comparisons between the two colts are inevitable, but dismissed by the Baaeed team.
Frankel, trained by Sir Henry Cecil and regarded as the best horse in the last 50 years, won all his 14 races.
Baaeed, whose success is all the more laudable given his first race was only on June 7 last year, is eight from eight.
The Frankel comparisons will keep coming given that Baaeed looks like following in his footsteps by sticking to a mile in the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on July 27, where he looks likely to clash with yesterday’s St James’s Palace Stakes winner Coroebus, before stepping up to a mile and a quarter in the International Stakes at York on August 17.
The 1-6 favourite eased to a length-and-three-quarter win from Real World on Tuesday
Haggas said: ‘He didn’t really look extended. He’s obviously a very good miler and bred to get further and it would be remiss not to. The easy option would be to stay over a mile.’
Crowley added: ‘It doesn’t get any easier than that. It’s the pinnacle. You spend your whole life waiting for a horse like this to come along. It’s a long season, there was no need to win 10 lengths. Sterner tests await but I am sure he will keep finding.’
Baaeed was led into the winners’ enclosure by Sheika Hissa Bint Hamdan al Maktoum, daughter of the late Sheik Hamdan Al Maktoum.
When he died last year there were concerns over the future of the Shadwell Stud operation which produced Baaeed. It has been rationalised with fewer horses but Sheika Hissa appears determined to extend her father’s legacy.
She said: ‘We all feel pressure when Baaeed runs but there is so much pride and I hope I do my father justice. Hopefully there’s many more from this bloodline to enjoy because he worked hard on it.’
Frankel (above), regarded as the best horse in the last 50 years, won all his 14 races
If it was easy for Baaeed, Charlie Appleby-trained 2,000 Guineas winner Coroebus had to work much harder in his blanket-finish win. Less than a length separated the first five home, which included unlucky-in-running Haggas-trained fourth Maljoom. But Coroebus frittered away energy running too free and had to wait to get a run.
As temperatures rose off the track, the sizzle on it was provided by Australian sprinter Nature Strip, who proved a class apart from his King’s Stand Stakes rivals with a four-and-a-half-length win to make it nine career Group One successes. Winning trainer Chris Waller has Nature Strip entered in Saturday’s Platinum Jubilee Stakes but also brought over Home Affairs who is the favourite for that race.
Nature Strip’s owners include Steve Hansen, who coached the All Blacks to their 2015 Rugby World Cup win and had a stint coaching Wales.
Hansen said: ‘Father was a big race fan and used to train them himself. I have a lifelong love of racing, it’s a bug and once it gets you, it gets you.
‘This horse is just a privilege to be part of.’