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Horse Racing: Baaeed shines at Newbury

Saturday's Lockinge Stakes at Newbury witnessed a possible superstar-in-the-making performance from Baaeed – with many well-placed pundits using Frankel comparisons to praise the winner.

The William Haggas-trained Baaeed has won all seven starts in his career and is being compared to a modern-day racing great.

He's the starting point for our weekend review, as eyes begin to turn towards Royal Ascot next month for him.

Baaeed's star firmly on the rise

Baaeed cemented his status as the most exciting Flat horse around by extending his unbeaten record to seven when winning the Lockinge by nearly four-lengths at Newbury on Saturday for trainer William Haggas and Shadwell Stud.

Jim Crowley's partner travelled supremely well through the race and surged clear late on, putting away some decent rivals with consummate ease.

The son of Sea The Stars soon drew comparison with the great Frankel post-race, as many well-placed pundits suggested Baaeed might just be most talented horse to emerge since Sir Henry Cecil's powerhouse.

Such lofty company remains a way off for now, but there's no doubting the talent Baaeed possesses. The Queen Anne at Royal Ascot next month is his next target and he's already 4/11 to win there on 14th June. You can follow the action via our Sports Live Streaming platform.

After that, there's talk of stepping up in trip for the Eclipse at Sandown in July, where he is 11/4 to win, or York's Juddmonte International in August.

For now, he's the hottest property in racing and the fact he'll be going for the Royal Ascot curtain-raiser next month isn't lost on the sport.

"It's crucial horses like Baaeed run at Royal Ascot," said Nick Smith, Ascot's director of racing and public affairs. "Being able to open the curtain with him is pretty unique and a special thing to be able to do."

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Stradivarius still has it

He may be an elder statesman now, but Stradivarius proved in Friday's Yorkshire Cup victory that he still has most of his ability in tow.

John & Thady Gosden's star became the first horse in 51 years to win 18 times at Group-race level with his comeback win at York, eclipsing Cirrus Des Aigles as the most prolific winner of Group races trained in Europe since the European Pattern was created in 1971.

Next month's Ascot Gold Cup looks the next stop and Stradivarius is 9/2 to reclaim the crown with a record-equalling fourth success on 16th June. He has won the last four Goodwood Cups and that Group 1 at the Glorious meeting later in the summer is also pencilled in says owner-breeder Bjorn Nielsen.

Stradivarius once more showed the turn of foot that marks him down as slightly different to a conventional stayer as he came sweeping by the field to overhaul Mark Johnston's Thunderous and win the Yorkshire Cup under a delighted Frankie Dettori.

Appleby plotting for stars

Charlie Appleby had a one-two in the Newmarket 2000 Guineas at the start of this month with Coroebus and Native Trail and he's won the French version with Modern News on Sunday at Longchamp.

It's an impressive tally for Appleby and he's now plotting on how best to keep his improving Classic-generation apart in the coming weeks.

To that end, it looks as though Modern News heads back to France for the Qatar Prix du Jockey Club in three weeks' time, with Native Trail likely to head to the Irish 2000 Guineas and Coroebus bound for Royal Ascot in June.

"How we keep them apart, we'll see," said Appleby. "With Native Trail, we know that with a good week he'll head to Ireland, it was always the plan to go for the St James's Palace with Coroebus, and then with this horse, I always had it in my mind we could look at the French Derby.

"If you watch him gallop, his attributes as a racehorse are that he puts his head down and he tries. And the quicker the ground, the better."

Battaash's brother keeps up family name

The Antarctic justified odds-on favouritism at Naas on Sunday to win the Coolmore Stud Calyx for Aiden O'Brien and Seamie Heffernan in the colours of the race sponsor.

Wodao was half a length behind The Antarctic last month at Tipperary on debut and, despite conceding 3lb on this occasion, O'Brien's Dark Angel colt came out on top again.

Royal Ascot could be next for The Antarctic – a full brother to blistering speedster Battaash – with entries in both the Coventry and Norfolk Stakes next month. It's the latter race that appears most likely for this improving youngster.

"He's a fast horse, obviously he's a brother to Battaash. He has a lot of natural speed and is a high cruiser," said O'Brien at Naas.

"He's a real sprinter, I'd say, he's very strong and he's as wide as he is long. I couldn't be happier with him.

"The plan was to go for the Norfolk if everything went well today. I think that's the plan, if everybody is happy, that we'll stay on."

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