William Haggas’ Baaeed will face a maximum of eight rivals in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.
The Sea The Stars colt enjoyed a fantastic debut campaign in 2021, progressing from a Leicester maiden win in early June to landing the QEII on Champions Day at Ascot in mid-October.
The William Haggas-trained four-year-old also claimed top-level honours in the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp and will be a hot favourite to extend his unbeaten record to seven on his reappearance.
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Baaeed won on Champions Day at Ascot
Chief among his potential rivals is Aidan O’Brien’s top-class filly Mother Earth, who won the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Prix Rothschild at Deauville last term.
Unlike Baaed, the daughter of Zoffany has already had a run this season, having made a successful return in the Group Three Park Express Stakes at the Curragh in late March.
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Richard Hannon has confirmed both Chindit and Etonian. The first colt made a smart start to his campaign in the Doncaster Mile, but will need to improve.
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Saeed bin Suroor’s dual Group Two winner Real World is set for a return to turf after failing to handle the dirt in either the Saudi Cup or the Dubai World Cup on his last couple of starts.
New Mandate (Ralph Beckett), Sir Busker (William Knight), Sunray Major (John and Thady Gosden) and Alcohol Free (Andrew Balding) complete the acceptors.