THE most backed horse in the world this year stung punters for at least £800,000 – after suffering a shock loss.
Nearly a million quid was staked on until-then unbeaten superstar Baaeed – the highest-rated turf horse for a decade – in the Champion Stakes at Ascot last month.
That was on the mega-money World Pool alone, where some 26 countries bet into one giant pool via the Tote rather than with an individual bookie.
The total sum lost on Baaeed almost certainly extends into the millions when all the UK sportsbooks are taken into account too.
Baaeed was a perfect ten-from-ten going into the 1m2f Group 1 race and sent off 1-4.
But the all-conquering miler found nothing off the bridle and finished fourth.
Bay Bridge was the 10-1 winner, picking up £737,230 for trainer Sir Michael Stoute and jockey Richard Kingscote.
Former Derby hero Adayar came second at 6-1 while My Prospero rounded out the places at a mega 22-1.
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A shell-shocked Jim Crowley said after the contest that the ground was William Haggas' stable star's undoing.
He said: "I pressed the button today and it wasn’t there.
"It’s unbelievable the journey we have been on.
"He is a very special horse and it is sad that he does not finish his career unbeaten as we have come so far."
It doesn't look like the shock defeat affected Baaeed's worth at stud, however.
Shadwell announced today that the son of Sea The Stars will command a £80,000 fee in his first year as a stallion.
Stephen Collins, European bloodstock manager for Shadwell, said: "Baaeed’s fee reflects his current status as the champion turf horse in the world for 2022 and also his impeccable race record and superb pedigree, being a direct descendant of Height Of Fashion, the dam of top-class performers Nashwan, Nayef and Unfuwain.
"The 135-rated Baaeed is a wonderful addition to the Shadwell stallion roster and we have been inundated with enquiries for nominations.
"We have been overwhelmed with the response from breeders from all over Europe and further a-field."
The total World Pool turnover was £667million with just under £180m coming during Royal Ascot alone.
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