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Baaeed to skip Arc and bow out on Champions Day

15 Sep 2022
Jon Vine 15 Sep 2022
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  • Baaeed will have the final start of his career in the 2022 Champion Stakes
  • William Haggas and the team were considering a run in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
  • Connections confirmed on Wednesday that Baaeed would make his final appearance at Ascot
Jim Crowley riding Baaeed to victory over Palace Pier in the 2021 renewal of the Champion Stakes. (Getty)

Following weeks of deliberation, William Haggas and Sheika Hissa have decided that Baaeed will retire after running in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

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On the back of a breathtaking victory in the Juddmonte International Stakes, connections were said to be considering a surprise tilt at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Three weeks ago, William Haggas said there was a "strong chance" that Baaeed would put his unbeaten record on the line in Europe's most prestigious flat race.

Bookmakers ran for cover following that bombshell, installing Baaeed as the favourite for both the Arc and the Champion Stakes. However, on Thursday afternoon, those dreaming of a fairytale Arc swansong for Baaeed were left disappointed when connections finally announced their plans.

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." William Haggas told Sky Sports Racing.

"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."

Baaeed drew comparisons with both Frankel and Sea The Stars after his superb victory at the Ebor Festival. Frankel was sent off at 2/11 on the final outing of his own unblemished career in the Champion Stakes and Baaeed can currently be backed at a similarly short price.

Unibet makes Baaeed their 2/7 market leaders, ahead of Adayar and Vadeni, who can be backed at 5/1 and 6/1 respectively. 

Meanwhile, Baaeed vacated position at the head of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe betting has been filled by Aidan O'Brien's Irish Champion Stakes winner, Luxembourg. The full betting for this year's Arc can be found here on our website.

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