Then, as a 4-year-old, the legendary colt swept to victories in the JLT Lockinge (G1) and Queen Anne (G1) before the midsummer QIPCO Sussex (G1) highlight, which he won in customary commanding fashion.
Baaeed has taken in the first two points of that program and barely came off the bridle, winning the Lockinge by 3 1/4 lengths from Real World and the Queen Anne from that same rival by a comfy 1 3/4 lengths.
There is no Real World to beat this time, although Queen Anne third and fourth Order of Australia and Chindit reoppose, and as a course-and-distance winner in last year’s Thoroughbred Stakes there appears to be few negatives for Baaeed’s camp to be concerned about.
Trainer William Haggas said: “There’s not a lot more I can say that I haven’t already said, but all has gone well since the Queen Anne and we are nearly there.
“If all goes well at Goodwood and again in the Juddmonte, we probably won’t see him at a mile again, but I don’t know. If he runs in the Juddmonte and gets beaten through lack of stamina, then of course we might come back to a mile.”
Baaeed does at least have a different challenge in giving eight pounds away to 3-year-olds Modern Games and Angel Bleu , although the late absence of QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas (G1) and St James’s Palace Stakes (G1) winner Coroebus has deprived the Sussex of even more intrigue.
‘Alcohol Free in Great Form’
Andrew Balding and the Kingsclere team produced a brilliant bit of training to get Alcohol Free right back to her best in the Darley July Cup (G1)—a performance that eclipsed her Qatar Sussex Stakes (G1) success last year, according to Racing Post Ratings.
“It took her a couple of runs to find her feet this year, but she’s in great form and she looks very well,” said Balding, helping promote the QIPCO British Champions Series and not for one minute prepared to dent the form Jeff Smith’s darling produced 12 months ago.
Alcohol Free wins the 2021 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse
“She won the race last year, and while this looks a very strong renewal, it wasn’t a bad one when she beat Poetic Flare .
“She comes here off the back of a really good win over six furlongs in the July Cup, so we are looking forward to it. It will be different ground this year, but they usually do a wonderful job at Goodwood, and I’m sure that will be the case again.”
Alcohol Free was 7-2 for the Sussex last year but will be a much bigger price this time due to Baaeed’s participation.
“At Goodwood it’s not always enough to be the best horse, as you need luck, too,” Balding said. “We wouldn’t want to win that way, but it’s a horse race at the end of the day.”
Bathrat Camp Buoyant
Yoshito Yahagi, the Japanese trainer responsible for Bathrat Leon , has already had a crack at the mighty Frankel, so taking on the brilliant Baaeed was not something he was likely to duck.
Bathrat Leon is a classy sort who won the Godolphin Mile Sponsored By Nakheel (G2) on World Cup night at Meydan in March, when the yard also enjoyed significant strikes with Panthalassa in the Dubai Turf Sponsored By DP World (G1) and Stay Foolish in the Dubai Gold Cup Sponsored By Al Tayer Motors (G2).
Yahagi’s prowess with shipping horses was also evident in 2019 when he saddled Lys Gracieux to win the Ladbrokes Cox Plate (G1) in Australia. Then last November he recorded a sensational Breeders’ Cup double thanks to Loves Only You in the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1T) and Marche Lorraine in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).
“I went to Goodwood a long time ago and I really enjoyed the atmosphere, so that’s why I selected the Sussex Stakes,” said the 61-year-old, whose Grand Prix Boss was down the field in Frankel’s St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot 11 years ago.
“He arrived in England June 23, and having traveled to Dubai before, he didn’t have any issues at all.
“He has to improve again, though, against the Sussex Stakes field.”