Unbeaten Baaeed poised to end career with final run at Ascot or Longchamp

Baaeed will not contest the Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes, with William Haggas’s stable star set to end his career at either Ascot or Longchamp.

The unbeaten four-year-old made a seamless switch up to 10 furlongs in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York, beating Mishriff by six and a half lengths on his first start beyond a mile.

Connections had stated their intention to head directly to Ascot for the Qipco Champion Stakes on 15 October for Baaeed’s career swansong, but Haggas then raised the possibility of a trip to Ireland and a further step up to 12 furlongs in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on 2 October was not ruled out.

However, Sheikha Hissa, who now heads the Shadwell operation established by her father, Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, has decided the son of Sea The Stars should have just one final run before retirement, ruling out a trip to Leopardstown and making supplementary entry for the Arc a live possibility.

Shadwell’s racing manager, Angus Gold, said: “He is not going to run in the Irish Champion. Sheikha Hissa said she and the family wanted to have one more run, either in the Arc or the Champion Stakes.

“It would be lovely for anyone to have an Arc winner, of course it would be wonderful, but equally it would be wonderful to have a Champion Stakes winner.

“He is a very good horse, so let’s hope wherever he goes, whatever everyone decides, that he can maintain it.”

Baaeed is not entered for the Arc and would have to be supplemented at a cost of €120,000 (£102,000) on 28 September if he were to make a further step up in distance.

“There is no rush to make the call,” Gold said. “We don’t have to technically supplement him, if we decide to go for the Arc, until 28 September.

“Let’s see what the weather does to us in the next month or so and see what is running in the Arc and everything.”

Gold said: “He is never going to surpass Frankel because he didn’t win as a two-year-old and didn’t win a Guineas. Frankel is Frankel and Baaeed is Baaeed. Both are outstanding horses and we are just very lucky to have him.”

Baaeed has banked six Group One wins on the spin now, with his neck verdict over Palace Pier in last year’s QEII Stakes at Ascot his narrowest victory. Gold said: “I think the important thing from our point of view is what happened last week, because that showed him now to be an outstanding horse. Before everybody was questioning him, saying he hasn’t beaten anything. To be fair, John Gosden said he has always looked like he was crying out for further, which you didn’t have to be Einstein to work out.

“How vital is it he remains unbeaten? It is not vital he wins an Arc, it is not vital he wins a Champion. He is brilliant horse and is the best horse around and that is all that matters. Of course, anything else now is a bonus.

“For me, the Arc is the greatest horse race in the world. Of course, it would be nice to win it, but he is no lesser horse if he doesn’t win an Arc.”