Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
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BAAEED extended his unbeaten record with a narrow victory over star miler Palace Pier in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday.
The win was the William Haggis-trained Baaeed’s sixth victory and second success at the highest level after landing the Group 1Prix du Moulin de Longchamp in early September.
The Shadwell-owned three-year-old’s sublime record is all the more impressive as he was unraced at two and did not make his racecourse debut until Derby day at Epsom where he won a maiden race with ease.
The son Sea the Stars’ rise has been meteoric since then and after his neck victory over five-time Group 1 winner Palace Pier connections believe they have a champion on their hands.
Winning jockey Jim Crowley said: “I think Baaeed could be a world champion. He’s just a beast, he keeps getting better.
“It was magical. I think people forget he’s come such a long way in a short space of time. It’s a great buzz to ride a horse that good
“He was a little bit fresh in my hands because I didn’t have any cover, but he was really tough. It was a great race. I thought the first couple of furlongs were sensible enough, then from four down the pace was just relentless, which I thought really suited my lad.
“I’m pretty sure he would stay further if he had to. He’s got a great mind, there doesn’t seem to be any chinks in his armour. He travels so well, the stronger they go in a race the better for him. He’s got a very good turn of foot as well.
“William has done a fantastic job with him. He probably wasn’t 100% going into France and he got the job done, so it was nice to bring him here in tip top condition today.
“The ground was a bit slow for him and on quicker ground I think he would pick up better, but he’s a proper champion.
“I know (recently deceased) Sheikh Hamdan will be looking down, smiling, and I owe him everything. He gave me this opportunity, he chose me to be his jockey and although he’s not here to see it, it’s nice to be able to repay him.”
“Oli Bell [presenter] just said to me, ‘at the start of the season, could you believe you would be standing here?’ What a silly question,” said Haggas, referring to his own amazement at what Baaeed has achieved this year.
“He’s done it, he’s won today. I think Jim’s words were that he coped with the ground, rather than loved it, and he’s beaten the best miler in Europe. What can you say? I’m thrilled to bits, shaking a lot,” continued Haggas who has since confirmed that Baaeed will stay in training as a four-year-old.
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