Baaeed wins the Juddmonte International Stakes in stunning style
Shadwell's unbeaten homebred, Baaeed, produced a stunning performance to win the Gr.1 Juddmonte International Stakes by six and a half lengths.
Taken from the Thoroughbred Daily News, 17th august 2022, by Tom Frary:
With his usual dash and distinction Shadwell's Baaeed made light work of the York feature to bring a large measure of both delight and relief to Sheikha Hissa Al Maktoum and William Haggas. The race is a qualifier for the Gr.1 Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland in November.
Always travelling well within himself detached from the strong pace set by High Definition, the 2-5 favourite cantered to the flanks of Mishriff heading to the furlong pole and when set alight by an ice-cold Jim Crowley soon after delivered his sprinter's surge to annihilate last year's impressive winner. Strong to the line as fears that he was in defiance of his pedigree as just a miler melted away, the homebred had six and a half lengths to spare over the Gosdens' title-defender there, with the 100-1 shot Sir Busker another two and a half lengths away in third.
"He has everything. He is an easy ride and was on it today," Crowley said. "He is just the perfect racehorse."
Had Baaeed not looked so spectacular at a mile, all the evidence would have pointed to this extended 10-furlong trip being an optimum or even a minimum but the manner of his wins pre-QEII in 2021 painted him more as a freak of pedigree. By beating Palace Pier in that mile feature of Ascot's Champions Day, he did little to dissuade the doubters and after the show of force on his return in the Gr.1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury it was beginning to look as if he was cut-and-dried at that trip. After upstaging Nature Strip in terms of closing sectionals at Royal Ascot and playing with his rivals in the Sussex, he was entering a new sphere in this test with the majority still uncertain how far the elastic would stretch. With those misgivings surrounding this bid, he was 2-5 purely because he is a brilliant colt and they tend to be able to do anything asked of them.
High Definition was on hand to space out the protagonists here and with Mishriff putting his recent slow-starting tendency behind him as he raced into a clear second, the pressure was on Crowley to time it right. Any anxiety was hard to gauge from the rider, who allowed his mount to coast with only Sir Busker behind and presented everyone with a moment of deja vu as he slipped the favourite between rivals in early straight much as Mick Kinane had on the sire in 2009.
Granted cover there, Baaeed locked on to Mishriff and by the time they had passed the two pole all the visual signs were pointing only to an easy extension of his unbeaten record. Once he had control, the homebred who had idled at Goodwood galloped out to the line to open up a margin not only on Mishriff but also on the rest of the world's elite which should prove impossible to bridge from here until the end of the year.