“Sheikh Hamdan will be looking down, smiling!”
Baaeed maintained his unbeaten record as he lowered the colours of Palace Pier in a top-class renewal of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.
The William Haggas-trained colt has a perfect record of six after winning a second successive Group One following his victory in the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp.
Benbatl set a sedate early pace from last year’s winner The Revenant, before the gallop picked up from halfway. The 10 runners congregated on the far side, with Baaeed having to make his challenge on the outside from his wide draw.
Baaeed was travelling well for Jim Crowley and he soon got into a battle with market rival and five-time Group One scorer Palace Pier, who was sent off favourite in the hands of Frankie Dettori.
Both gave their all and it was 2-1 chance Baaeed who crossed the line a neck in front of the game runner-up, to give owners Shadwell Estate and Crowley a quick big-race double after the victory of Eshaada in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.
Lady Bowthorpe stayed on strongly to be just a length and a quarter behind in third in her last race before she is retired to the paddocks.
A jubilant Crowley said: “I think he could be a world champion. He’s just a beast, he keeps getting better.
“The ground was a bit slow for him and on quicker ground I think he would pick up better, but he’s come a long way in a short space of time and he’s a proper champion.
“I know Sheikh Hamdan will be looking down, smiling, and I owe him everything, he gave me this opportunity, he chose me to be his jockey and although he’s not here to see it, it’s nice to be able to repay him.” – rte.ie.