Image: Philippe Oursel on Unsplash.com

If you’re a fan of British flat racing, we’re sure you’ve heard the Baaeed and Frankel comparisons in the first half of this exciting season — especially in the build up to the 2022 renewal of Royal Ascot, as Baaeed headed to Berkshire as short as 1/6 in the Betdaq horse racing betting for the opening Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes.

The legendary Frankel won the prestigious one-mile contest by 11 lengths in 2012, in what many describe as his best ever performance, and while not many would have tipped Baaeed to win by a similar margin on the opening day of the Royal meeting, punters and pundits alike still expected somewhat of Frankel-esque display.

Of course, Baaeed won the Queen Anne with relative ease — not really needing to leave second gear as he passed the post a length and three quarters clear of Real World, extending his career unbeaten run to eight. But there were people left underwhelmed by the showing, with the manner in which the four-year-old won falling below many punters’ expectations.

The reality is, there was nothing wrong with Baaeed’s run. The race was going to be a walk in the park for the horse one way or another and if Jim Crowley didn’t have to push the William Haggas-trained horse through the motions to get the victory then why should he? After all, there are bigger fish to fry before the season is out and if Baaeed can win the Queen Anne with plenty left in the tank then that’s a massive bonus.

The real reason flat racing followers were left with a feeling of disappointment is because of the constant contrasts made between Frankel and Baaeed. As in any sport, people are always looking for the next best thing to come along and steal their hearts. But just like the fact there will never be another Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, as their incredible stats are almost impossible to replicate, there will never be another Frankel for the same reason.

The more we continue to compare horses to the great son of Galileo and Kind, the more we are going to be disheartened and not truly appreciate other horses. Let’s stop the Frankel comparisons, at least for now, and just enjoy Baaeed ripping up the turf while we still can and acknowledge himfor what he is — the current best race horse in the world.

Horses a long-time retired, so there will be plenty of time to compare Frankel’s and Baaeed’s race records when Haggas and Shadwell Estate decide to retire their prized asset. That is the time to let this debate, if there still is one to be had, let rip. In many ways, we won’t actually know if Baaeed really is Frankel-esque until then as there are tougher tasks ahead.

And, as well as sterner competition to beat, Baaeed could also attempt to follow in the same footsteps as the famous Frankel this season. The four-year-old will likely head to Goodwood for the Sussex Stakes — another race won by the Juddmonte legend — next month before being upped in trip to a mile and quarter for the International Stakes at York — yep, you guessed it, won by Frankel.

The Champion Stakes at Ascot in October could be the end goal as Haggas might attempt a carbon copy of Frankel’s memorable2012 season, which also started with a Lockinge win at Newbury and ended at Champions Days with three wins in the aforementioned race in between.

If Baaeed can pull that off, then the comparisons might be fairer on Frankel. But he’s certainly not going to rack up a combined 30-lengths in the process. Make of the duo’s similarities, or lack of them, what you will. But for the time being, let’s just soak in Baaeed’s greatness and see where he can go.

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