William Haggas has announced Baaeed’s final race will be in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot, rather than the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Following a stunning display on his first start over 10 furlongs in the Juddmonte International at York, connections indicated they might consider supplementing him for the 12-furlong French feature on October 2.
However, following discussions between Haggas and owner Shadwell, it has been decided Baaeed will sign off his career closer to home next month.
“After much consultation with Sheika Hissa and her team, we have decided that Baaeed’s final start will be in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 15,” said Haggas.
“He was very impressive in the Juddmonte International and it was only right that we explored every option.
“But I, in particular, was very keen to keep him at a mile and a quarter and therefore the Qipco Champion Stakes was the only logical solution.
“There are many, I’m sure, who are going to be disappointed that he is not going to be running in the Arc, but we can’t do both and we all feel that it is the right decision for the horse, so Ascot it will be.
“Let’s hope we have him in top form for that.”
Baaeed is unbeaten in 10 career starts, with his last six victories all coming at Group One level.
‘Right thing to do’ for Baaeed
Despite saying he would love to win the Arc, Baaeed’s big-race pilot Jim Crowley agrees with the decision.
“William asked me, and to be honest with you, from a jockey’s point of view you would love to win the Arc. But is that right for the horse?” Crowley told Sky Sports Racing.
“From my point of view I would like to win the Arc and I think he probably could do. But you have to do what is right by the horse, and I appreciate and agree the right thing to do is to go to Ascot.
“If you are going to Longchamp, firstly you are supplementing the horse, and he wouldn’t want a mile and a half on very testing ground. I think in the last 10 years, six of the Arcs have been run on very soft ground, and it’s a lot to expect for him to go and do that.
“It’s almost as if people want him to get beat. I’d love to see him win the Arc, it would be fantastic. But it makes sense for him to go to Ascot.
“I can’t wait [to ride him again]. I’ll never find another one like it, he’s a superstar.”