GIVEN his meteoric ascent to modern day equine greatness and the pathway his career has taken, many have understandably drawn comparisons between Baaeed and the mighty Frankel.
Perhaps, following his demolition of five classy Juddmonte International rivals including last year’s runaway winner Mishriff, some may instead begin to liken Frankel to Baaeed.
Last week’s dominant Knavesmire display arguably did more to showcase Baaeed’s brilliance than any of the previous nine victories that came before it and it was fitting that a career arguably characterised by professionalism, a sound temperament and routine successes, can now be defined by a scintillating display at the highest level.
Like in Frankel’s 2012 victory, York’s marquee Group 1 event generated a fabulous time on the clock as a frenetic early pace, set by the front-running High Definition, contributed to a brilliant furlong-per-furlong speed figure, easily the best of Baaeed’s 10-race unblemished career.
The sectionals also confirmed the merit of the performance with a final three-furlong split of 34.85sec bettered only by five-furlong fillies’ handicap winner Designer (33.95sec) and she looks a ready-made pattern race winner in waiting.
A final furlong figure of 11.92 compared favourably to Designer (12.01), Chaldean (12.60), Streets Of Gold (12.40) and Bergerac (13.12) and illustrated how strongly Baaeed hit the line compared to those that raced on the same card over trips markedly shorter than he contested.
Quite simply, the son of Sea The Stars delivered everything that connections and the wider racing public craved on his first start at 10 furlongs, as jockey Jim Crowley expertly harnessed his mount’s latent speed over this new trip before unleashing a miler’s speed to saunter past a toiling Mishriff.
Bear in mind, this was the same Mishriff that pulverised his rivals in last year’s renewal by six lengths and had produced a near career peak performance when unlucky in the Coral-Eclipse earlier in the summer.
Silenced the dissenters
This was an exhibition of utter authority from Baaeed who silenced many of the dissenters who felt he had been ‘beating up’ a modest bunch of milers and had cheaply earned his moniker as the world’s best horse, even if his speed ratings suggested that view was nonsense.
Those who studied his Sussex Stakes closing sectionals (a fraction over 22secs for the final two furlongs) were aware he was capable of raw brilliance and, just like his venerated predecessor Frankel, he scorched the Knavesmire in exhibiting his power.
Barely had Baaeed crossed the line than the debates began to rage where he should run next.
Connections favour the Champion Stakes at Ascot as a swansong with the possibility of a trip to Leopardstown for the Irish version in the interim also considered.
Unfortunately, Paris in October for the Arc seems a tall price at present so the chance of Baaeed emulating his father and winning that historic prize appears unlikely.
It is also a shame he may never capture the hearts and minds of the racing public in the manner Frankel did.
That perhaps owes more to the reverence and admiration in which Frankel’s trainer was held as we, as racing fans and onlookers, found ourselves swept along by a powerful and emotive career.
However, Baaeed has justifiably earned the plaudits through brazen class and ability and, if his dazzling Juddmonte display is the race with which to define his career, then he has set the bar extremely high.