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Baaeed was named to be the best and he lived up to that lofty boast when delivering an imperious performance to win the £1 million Sussex Stakes, Europe’s most prestigious and richest mile contest, on day two at Glorious Goodwood on Wednesday.
The son of superstar stallion Sea The Stars, who was bred at Shadwell by the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the former Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, was given his Arabic name which translates to ‘far too good' and Baaeed once again demonstrated Sheikh Hamdan’s far-sightedness in picking the perfect name for a a horse who would one day become a champion.
With former British champion jockey Jim Crowley in the irons, Baaeed raced in the rear for most of the mile trip before he was asked for his effort one furlong from the finish. And the response was breathtaking. Within a matter of strides, the four-year-old changed gears like a sports car and blitzed home a length and three-quarters clear of Godolphin’s French 2000 Guineas winner Modern Games.
It was a ninth consecutive victory for Baaeed that once again gave rise to comparisons with the great miler Frankel, who was unbeaten in 14 races.
Crowley was in no doubt about the horse’s class and told Racing TV UK: “He’s the horse of a lifetime and I’ve said it before, it’s a testament to Sheikh Hamdan’s breeding operation to breed a horse like this.
“It’s lovely Sheikha Hessa (bint Hamdan Al Maktoum) is here, watching. Mohaather, who won this race two years ago was brilliant, but this horse is something else and it's great to be part of it.
"He just does what he has to like his sire did," added Crowley. "He's never going to be exuberant and win by ten lengths but the feeling I got from him between the three and the two (furlongs), no horse can give you that sort of feel. He's got everything. Good horses like that tick all the boxes.
"It will be really interesting when he goes a mile and a quarter next time and I'm really looking forward to it."
Baaeed is now set to step up to 10 furlongs when he lines as the 4/7 favourite in the G1 Juddmonte International at York, winning trainer William Haggass confirmed.
“He’s such a nice horse.” said Haggas, “Today (Wednesday) was a big day. I can’t tell you how sad it is for all of us that Sheikh Hamdan is not here to witness it. He did everything for days like this and he would have loved it.
“Baaeed has speed and class. I’m really looking forward to stepping up to 10 furlongs as I think he would enjoy it.
“I don’t think we need to go for the Arc (Paris). I think we’ll go for the (Irish) Champion Stakes (The Curragh, September 15, or the QEII Stakes (Ascot, October 15) depending on how he gets on at York,” he added.
Haggas, reflecting on what might be as a lucrative stud career beckons for the unbeaten miler, said: “I just said to Jim in the paddock, we’ve got him for two more races after this so let’s just enjoy him and make the most of him. He will most likely go to stud at the end of the year and I’ll spend the rest of my training career trying to find the next one.”
For the second successive day at Goodwood, Dubai owned horses were clinching a meet double with Godolphin’s Secret State having won the opening race over a mile and four furlongs in impressive fashion.
Ridden by William Buick for Classic-winning trainer Charlie Appleby, the winner stormed into the Group race spotlight picture after completing a four-timer.
Despite hanging badly under pressure in the closing stage, Secret State ran out a comfortable length-and-a-quarter winner.
Winner of the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot last month will step up to a mile and six furlongs in the Leger but Buick was confident he will handle the trip.
"He stays well. He's very genuine. I'm not quite sure why he hung left today (Wednesday). It's the first time he's been on the track (at Goodwood) so that's maybe why."
Trainer Charlie Appleby, who won the Leger with Hurricane Lane last year, added: "I think probably the most logical step now is to head to the Great Voltigeur with him.
Buick completed a Goodwood double when he picked up a spare ride aboard Oscula to land a thrilling renewal of the Oak Tree Stakes from Internationalangel.
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