No plans for Bay Bridge yet, but Breeders’ Cup could be part of ‘discussions’
Sir Michael Stoute is in no rush to decide what’s next with Bay Bridge, but Sunday didn’t seem to completely rule out the prospect of a Breeders’ Cup trip for the Baaeed winner.
The New Bay colt – who this time last year won a handicap at York on a mark of 105 – looked like a star in the making when he beat the most impressive winner of the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown in May.
From there he went on to the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, finishing second behind State Of Rest, before receiving a knock when he was the beaten favorite in the Coral-Eclipse.
As he did after the Qipco Champion Stakes on Saturday, Stoute said he did not expect to beat Baaeed, trained by William Haggas, at Ascot.
“We were delighted, he’s a good solid and consistent horse, but I had sympathy for William because we’re great friends and I thought it would be his day,” Stoute told Luck on. Sunday from Racing TV.
“Honestly I felt we would be second, William’s horse looks like a machine. So, I was just hopeful. Not more than that – you had seen this horse win in the style he did, so you must have thought he would win.
“He (Bay Bridge) was very good at Sandown (Brigadier Gerard), the race didn’t quite go for him at Royal Ascot and the pitch was quite fast. When he went back to Sandown, he came back and had a little injury, a minor injury. His work from home was very encouraging, we knew we had brought him back to his best level. His best weight and his way of working. The team did a great job with him.
Asked about potential projects, Stoute said: ‘I think you better call the owners! We didn’t discuss anything.
“The owners are very professional, they know the game inside out. Of course, we would like to keep it, but it needs to be discussed.
On the question of whether he might be a horse to take overseas at some point, as successful former stable stars such as Pilsudski and Singspiel have done, Stoute said: “He might travel, but like I say, we have to figure out what the owners want.”
Pressed further on the Breeders’ Cup Turf odds – for which the Champion Stakes is a ‘win and you’re in’ race – he said: “I’m not picky, but we need to have a discussion about it. It’s possible, but we have to discuss what they want. Sounds boring, but I don’t know. Decisions have to be made. »
Bay Bridge was ridden by Richard Kingscote, who also ran Stoute’s Desert Crown in the Derby.
“I was very happy for him, he’s worked hard here for the past few years,” Stoute said.
“Although the Derby was easy for him, yesterday was a great day and he rode a great race.”
Desert Crown has not been seen since its triumph at Epsom. Giving an update, Stoute said: “He’s doing well and will be back in the saddle next week.”
Speaking on Racing Debate, Kingscote told Sky Sports Racing that the Freemason Lodge squad were looking forward to a great season with Bay Bridge – but like everyone else he was wary of Baaeed’s presence.
“All the way down the straight you think he’s going to pop because that’s what he’s done in all his other races, he accelerated so well. But my boy put his head down and showed a great attitude,” he said.
“He’s a class act, he’s shown a really good level of form over the summer on fast ground and the rain could have gotten him a bit more had he been able to put his toe in. In three of his four races this year he showed very good form, comfortable on the ground and in the summer on fast pitch, so I don’t think you could say it was just on the ground – he’s a decent animal.
“I think at this time last year we thought that horse would have a great year this year and he looked at it again at Sandown. Obviously after his last race at Sandown he came back with a nickname. Like the boss said, he fired him and he now has his band one.
“Desert Crown has arrived in the meantime, so it’s been a fantastic year. I bought a Ducati, (but) now that the weather has changed, you don’t see it much anymore.