Baaeed will try to make it second time lucky for trainer William Haggas when he lines up in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at the Qatar Goodwood Festival next week.
The four-year-old is the world’s top-rated turf performer after going unbeaten in eight career starts to date – scoring at the highest level on the last four occasions.
He has already won the Lockinge and Queen Anne Stakes this season – ridden both times by Coral ambassador Jim Crowley – and is on course for a clash with top three-year-old miler Coroebus, winner of the 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes, on Wednesday week.
While Haggas has plenty of respect for the Charlie Appleby-trained Coroebus, he has a good feel for the Ascot form as he saddled two runners that finished in behind.
Speaking at a media event organised by Goodwood Racecourse, Haggas said: “We are all set to go with Baaeed, hopefully. He worked this morning and, provided everything is OK over the next couple of days, we are away and will see what evolves.
“Coroebus is obviously a high-class horse. Two of ours finished third and fourth (My Prospero and Maljoom) behind him in the St James’s Palace Stakes, not beaten far. I was not that impressed with him – and I have to be careful because he is a very smart horse – but I don’t think he was at his best that day.
“I think Maljoom, and I don’t think this is just trainer talk, would have won in another couple of strides. At the moment, there is a fair bit of distance between Baaeed and Maljoom.”
Baaeed will only be Haggas’ second runner in the mile highlight after Argentinian-bred Eventuail finished eighth in 1998.
The trainer added: “I can’t remember having many runners in the Sussex but it is a race I would love to win. I am always watching it on television thinking why haven’t I got a horse good enough?”
After tackling the Sussex, Baaeed could make the switch up to 10 furlongs for the Juddmonte International at York next month, following the same pattern as the great Frankel in 2012.
Haggas said: “I don’t think Baaeed has much to prove but his pedigree smacks of further. He relaxes so well, he has a great mind, and I would love to see him over further at York in Juddmonte International.
“I remember so vividly when Frankel won that race, it was like a piece of work for him. Anyone who was there, it made your hairs stand up because he was imperious. I hope that Baaeed would be able to travel as strongly and then be able to use his turn of foot. I am very keen to have a go.
“We are just starting to say amongst ourselves in the yard that we need to prepare for life after him – which I know sounds a bit pathetic – because he won’t be around for us to enjoy next year. Finding another one is the target.”
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Baaeed is set to spearhead a strong Haggas squad with Platinum Jubilee fifth Sacred set to switch back up in trip in the World Pool Lennox Stakes, while the trainer has options in the Qatar Nassau Stakes.
He added: “The Lennox Stakes looks the obvious race for Sacred, as she likes seven furlongs and fast ground. We are going to leave her in the Sussex Stakes at the owner’s request, just in case the race cuts up, but seven is her best trip.
“We had a similar problem with One Master, who was a seven-furlong specialist. The only Group One race in Europe for four-year-olds over seven is the Prix de la Foret in October, when the ground is soft. One Master loved the soft whereas Sacred doesn’t, so it is difficult to know where to go.
“We will run only one in the Nassau Stakes and it will either be Lilac Road, who wants fast ground, or My Astra, who can’t have it soft enough. I suspect it will be Lilac Road, because we have had this in mind since she won the Middleton. It is her part-owner Julia Aisbitt’s birthday on Nassau day, so this looks a good target.
“Sea La Rosa will run in the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes. She won over a mile and five furlongs at Lingfield last year, so she will stay the trip well.
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