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Baaeed bids to end stellar career by seeing off Adayar and company in the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot





The curtain is set to come down on the career of a Flat racing legend on Saturday.

A winner on all 10 of his starts – the last six of which were in Group 1 company – the William Haggas-trained Baaeed will bid to bow out in the QIPCO Champion Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot.

It will be the son of Sea The Star’s first outing since August’s Juddmonte International Stakes at York, where his stylish victory drew comparisons with the great Frankel, who also finished with an unblemished record with victory in the Champion Stakes.

Baaeed will be bidding to end his career with a 100 per cent winning record on Saturday. Picture: Mark Westley
Baaeed will be bidding to end his career with a 100 per cent winning record on Saturday. Picture: Mark Westley

Jockey Jim Crowley said: “I don’t really get nervous. I’ll get excited before the race, which is only natural, but once you are on him and away you just forget about everything.

“Riding Baaeed is a great feeling, but it brings with it a lot of responsibility. I’m looking forward to it, but nothing in racing is given and it’s going to be a tough race for him. There are some good horses running and it’s probably going to be his most important race.

“I’ve been fortunate to ride some good horses, but Baaeed does give that feeling of something completely different to any I’ve ever come across before - not only on the racecourse, but in his whole demeanour. He’s just such a professional and has such a great character. I may never come across a horse like him ever again.

“The Juddmonte was a very important race going into it. He had a point to prove, going up in distance, and he was taking on some really tough horses in the likes of Mishriff.

“It was just an amazing race to ride in. He just went through the race so easily and when I pressed the button he put the race to bed in a matter of strides.

“It was a great feeling to ride him and to show people what he was capable of.”

But while Baaeed goes into the race appearing almost bulletproof, one horse seeking to play the role of party pooper is Adayar.

Charlie Appleby’s Derby and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner will certainly be fresh, having appeared just once this year after injury setbacks.

Jockey William Buick, who will be in the saddle of the Godolphin entrant, said: “Getting Adayar back for the QIPCO Champion Stakes is one of the highlights of my year.

“He’s got a huge task, but he’s probably as exciting a horse as I’ve ridden all season. Doncaster was perfect for a comeback run.

“He really enjoyed himself and he did everything right. He’s a bit of a forgotten horse this season but he was very good last year.

“He’s probably the best horse Baaeed has met and it’s going to make a great race either way.

“We’ll sit down and make a plan when we know the field, but obviously Baaeed looks very straightforward and he’s done it from every which way and at both a mile and a mile and a quarter.”