Unbeaten Baaeed has feelgood Newbury vibes to fall back on as he targets Lockinge win

Baaeed will bid to conserve his flawless record when kicking off his season in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

The William Haggas-trained Sea The Stars colt has been victorious on each of his six racecourse appearances to date, signing off his three-year-old term by defeating Palace Pier in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

That neck triumph was his narrowest thus far, with previous Group successes in the Prix du Moulin and the Thoroughbred Stakes achieved by a length and a quarter and six and a half lengths respectively.

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“Most milers start off in the Lockinge if they are that class,” said Haggas.

One to beat: Baaeed puts his unbeaten record on the line when he runs in the Lockinge at Newbury today. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

“After he did what he did on Champions Day it was a pretty straightforward decision – the programme for a miler is the Lockinge and then the Queen Anne and then take on the three-year-olds – wherever that may take us.”

Baaeed will face Group One-winning fillies Alcohol Free and Mother Earth in the Lockinge, both of whom he defeated in the QEII.

Saeed bin Suroor is represented by Real World, a Godolphin-owned five-year-old who won all four of his European runs last season before embarking on a winter campaign in Dubai.

Richard Hannon’s Chindit also made a winning start to his season when landing the Listed Doncaster Mile Stakes in late March and will step back up to Group One level at Newbury and Hannon also saddles Etonian in the nine-runner renewal.

Newbury chance: Last year's 1,000 Guineas winner, Mother Earth, runs in the Lockinge Stakes today. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

“We were pleased with him at Doncaster, it was a nice little spot for him and he’s been in good form since,” Hannon said.

“He’s been on the periphery in these races all last year and it would be nice to see him getting a bit closer to the front and having a say. We think he’s improved, although it’s a smart race.

“They’ll go along quicker with it being a Group One and that will help him.”

Hannon will saddle a second contender as Etonian returns to the scene of his ninth-placed run in the Spring Cup last month.

The Juddmonte silks will be carried by John and Thady Gosden’s Sunray Major, a lightly-raced five-year-old who was fifth when starting his term in the bet365 Mile at Sandown.

Barry Mahon, Juddmonte’s racing manager, said: “He faces an uphill task taking on Baaeed, but he performed well on his last outing when he found the ground a bit softer than he likes.

“On good, quick ground hopefully he can improve for the run and run a respectable race.

“He’s five years old now, he’s a big, solid colt and he’s not easy to get fit. I’d say he definitely got a little tired and Frankie (Dettori) just felt the ground didn’t suit him (at Sandown), he’d prefer good to firm.

“We know we’ve an uphill struggle taking on Baaeed and if you’re not in you can’t win, but we saw in the Balmoral (14th on good to soft) he wants good ground.”

Ralph Beckett’s New Mandate took the Listed Paradise Stakes at Ascot on his first run of the year, beating William Knight’s Sir Busker, a fellow Lockinge entrant, by just a neck.

“He’s in rare from and he’ll need to be to take on Baaeed, but we look forward to it,” Beckett said.