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

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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.”

Speaking on Thursday, Haggas told Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast: “The only thing I will say is it’s nearly two months now to Champions Day and that’s quite a long time.”

Asked if therefore the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 10 could be an option, Haggas replied: “That’s the perfect fit if he was to have another race, so that’s obviously open for discussion.

“He’s in the race and we’ll just see what happens but he’d have to be in pretty rude health to be going to Ireland, so we shall see.”

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Shadwell Stud racing manager Angus Gold reveals to Sky Sports Racing that Baaeed’s final run will likely come in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.

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.

“To my eyes, he ran right through the line. I don’t want to put any wrong but I’d be surprised if he didn’t stay a mile-and-a-half on what he did yesterday.

“It comes late in the season and they’ve all been on the go a long time. It’s the greatest race in the world in my view and I’d be surprised if he didn’t go an extra furlong-and-a-half if it came to it.”

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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