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Baaeed unbeaten: Ascot or Arc debate divides racing after William Haggas’ star makes it perfect 10 from 10 | Racing News


Ascot or the Arc? That is the question that is likely to dominate conversations in the trackside bars, in stables and on panel shows for many weeks to come between now and October.

The racing world is likely to be divided over the issue but the only opinions that matter belong to trainer William Haggas and the lucky team around unbeaten superstar Baaeed.

On Wednesday, the four-year-old confirmed his status as one of the best to ever set foot on a racecourse with a blistering display in the Juddmonte International at York, extending his perfect record to 10.

Now, one more race awaits before Baaeed heads off to the stallion sheds.

But, will he head to Ascot’s Champions Day on October 15 and a likely shot at the Champion Stakes over a mile-and-a-quarter – the QEII over a mile is an option, although less likely – or will the temptation of ParisLongchamp’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and the first-time test of a mile-and-a-half prove too tempting?

You can watch both Champions Day at Ascot and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe live on Sky Sports Racing.

Here’s what the racing world have had to say…

Trainer William Haggas…

“He can’t do both, it’s too close, and we wanted our finale in the Champion Stakes, that’s always been the plan.

“Everyone loves a good horse and I hope they all turn up for Ascot as well.

“I never had any desire to run in the Arc – unless Sheikha Hissa and Angus (Gold, racing manager) decide they want to go there, it will be Ascot.”

Jim Crowley couldn't hide his delight after Baaeed won the Juddmonte in emphatic fashion.
Image:
Jim Crowley couldn’t hide his delight after Baaeed won the Juddmonte in emphatic fashion

Angus Gold, racing manager to Baaeed’s owners Shadwell…

“Mishriff is a top-class horse and to beat him like that is very exciting. I’m certainly not going to say I’ve been involved with a better one.

“For me, the Arc is the greatest race in the world, so if anyone wants to run in it I’m certainly not going to put them off, but it has only just happened so I’m not going to say no when we haven’t discussed it. We’ve gone another step today but the plan was always Ascot if all went well.”

Former champion jockey Seb Sanders…

“It was a pleasure to watch. I thought it was a brilliant performance. He looked a fresh horse when he hit the line.

“Here’s the conundrum: Do you stick him in the Arc and only not run him if it’s soft ground? He’d be even money or less.

“After how relaxed he was, they may have to think about the Arc. I haven’t seen anything in the Arc that can beat him.

“I found that amazing the way he through that race. He was an incredibly fresh horse at the line.

“I think the Arc will be on the peripheral if the ground is good or better.”

John Gosden, trainer of Mishriff (2nd in the Juddmonte)…

“I have felt for a long time that this horse (Baaeed) has been beating a mile division that isn’t top, top-rank and that this is his trip.

“I have always thought that when he ran over this, you would see an even better horse and we have.”





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