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Baaeed will meet eight rivals in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday as William Haggas’ charge faces a proper test on his seasonal reappearance.
The Sea The Stars colt was rated as the sixth best horse in the world last year after an unbeaten three-year-old campaign that began when scoring on his first career start at Leicester before concluding with victory in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
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Baaeed’s principal threats in the 3.20 at Newbury include last year’s 1000 Guineas heroine Mother Earth and multiple Group 1 winner Alcohol Free.
You’ll find Lockinge Stakes tips from Paddy Power’s horse racing experts and our runner-by-runner guide to the nine horses below.
Lockinge Stakes runners
Trainer: William Haggas Jockey: Jim Crowley Age: 4 Weight: 9st 0lbs Draw: 3
Top-class colt who took his unbeaten run to six with stylish success in Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot (1m) by neck from Palace Pier. Sort to do even better in 2022, and he will prove hard to beat on his seasonal return.
Trainer: Richard Hannon Jockey: Pat Dobbs Age: 4 Weight: 9st 0lbs Draw: 1
Smart colt who resumed with comfortable win in 1m listed race at Doncaster 49 days ago by 2¼ lengths from Tempus. Course winner too, but this demands a lot more.
Trainer: Richard Hannon Jockey: Rossa Ryan Age: 4 Weight: 9st 0lbs Draw: 9
Lightly-raced 7f winner who returned from 12 months off with good ninth of 17 in handicap over C&D 28 days ago. This is a very big ask, however.
Trainer: Ralph Beckett Jockey: Richard Kingscote Age: 4 Weight: 9st 0lbs Draw: 5
Smart performer at 2 yrs. Only twice raced since, but he got back to winning ways in 1m listed contest at Ascot 17 days ago. Not discounted for place purposes if he can build on that success.
Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor Jockey: Daniel Tudhope Age: 5 Weight: 9st 0lbs Draw: 8
High-class horse at his best but he’s been well below par both starts since scoring at Meydan in January. Course winner has plenty to prove at present.
Trainer: William Knight Jockey: Hollie Doyle Age: 6 Weight: 9st 0lbs Draw: 7
His last win came in 2020, but he’s a smart performer and posted creditable second of 4 to New Mandate in 1m listed race at Ascot 17 days ago. Has a lot on his plate here, though.
Trainer: John & Thady Gosden Jockey: Frankie Dettori Age: 5 Weight: 9st 0lbs Draw: 6
Smart horse who resumed with good fifth of 6 to Lights On in Mile at Sandown 22 days ago. Still low mileage, but this is no easy ask.
Trainer: Andrew Balding Jockey: Rob Hornby Age: 4 Weight: 8st 11lbs Draw: 2
Very smart filly who landed her third Group 1 success in the Sussex Stakes last summer. Hooded when below-par third in Mile at Sandown 22 days ago, but she’s not written off now the headgear is quickly dispensed with.
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien Jockey: Ryan Moore Age: 4 Weight: 8st 11lbs Draw: 4
Last year’s 1000 Guineas winner who resumed with comfortable victory in Park Express Stakes at the Curragh (1m) 49 days ago. Likeable and consistent sort. Solid claims.
Lockinge Stakes tips
Matt Chapman: It’s impossible to oppose BAAEED who is arguably the best horse in the world. At the moment, it’s horses abroad that dominate the world rankings.
Rory Delargy: If BAAEED is ready, he’ll win this. He needs to have developed physically but I’m sure that won’t be a problem. It’s exceptionally hard to find a case against him.
In terms of an each-way pick, I like the look of SIR BUSKER at a huge price. He’s Group 1 class. He’s not the best in this race but he will have conditions to suit. 1m and a bit of dig in the ground is ideal. He’s a better horse on domestic soil but he was slightly disappointing last time out at Ascot. However, that tactical race with four runners didn’t really suit him, whereas this race will.
Mick Fitzgerald: BAAEED has super impressive form figures with six wins from six starts. Ground conditions are not a problem so even with a little bit of rain around, we don’t need to be concerned.
Timeform: BAAEED made giant strides in 2021 and signed off with a top-class win over Palace Pier in Ascot’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. There promises to be even more to come from him this term so he’s confidently expected to extend his winning run to seven. Mother Earth is a likeable Classic-winning filly and she appeals as the one to chase home William Haggas’ unbeaten colt ahead of last season’s Sussex Stakes heroine Alcohol Free.
Ruby Walsh: Baaeed will win but I’m looking for the one that could beat him if he doesn’t turn up, and for me that is REAL WORLD. For a relatively lightly-raced horse on the turf he looks to be improving. If you leave out his two dirt runs earlier this year, he’s coming here with a string of 1s behind his name. He could be the one if Baaeed doesn’t bring his A game.
Jason Weaver: It’s all about the red-hot fav Baaeed maintaining his unbeaten record. However, from a punting perspective, the superstar ALCOHOL FREE is majorly overlooked as an each-way player. She looked a lot better for her return to action at Sandown and ran a nice race without being knocked about. She barely saw any daylight for most of the hill at Sandown. She will be dropped in on this occasion and her telling change of gear late on can prove decisive, to get a slice and maybe the whole pie.
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