Baaeed stands out on Ascot opening day

Baaeed stands out on Ascot opening day

Baaeed can live up to his banker status and get punters off to a perfect start in the Queen Anne Stakes, the opening event of Royal Ascot 2022.

William Haggas’ charge will be no price at all in the 1600m heat, but he is the only logical option as he bids to extend his unbeaten record to eight following a hugely impressive return in last month’s Lockinge Stakes.

The four-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise after making his debut last June, working his way quickly through the ranks to win a first Group 1 at ParisLongchamp in September before toppling Palace Pier in the QEII at this track on his final run of the year.

Baaeed impressed on his seasonal bow too, dispatching eight race-fit rivals with ease in the Lockinge, and it would be a huge turn-up if he were beaten.

The St James’s Palace Stakes is the other 1600m highlight on day one, with 2000 Guineas hero Coroebus another short-priced favourite.

Again it is hard to pick too many holes in his case, with his only defeat coming in last year’s Royal Lodge when just edged out by a determined Royal Patronage.

Charlie Appleby’s runner was a decisive winner at Newmarket, holding stablemate Native Trail at bay by 3.25 lengths – form which has been boosted by that one’s subsequent Irish 2000 Guineas victory.

While Coroebus is stepping away from Newmarket for the first time, there is no reason to think he cannot prove equally as effective going round a bend.

Golden Pal carries maximum confidence from trainer Wesley Ward in the King’s Stand Stakes – but it may pay to side with Australian speedster Nature Strip instead.

Trained by Chris Waller, Nature Strip has done most of his winning over 1200m on home soil but with stablemate Home Affairs pencilled in for the Platinum Jubilee Stakes over that trip, the seven-year-old switches back to the minimum distance.

Given the Ascot 1000m is on the stiff side, that may not be an issue and Nature Strip is a Group 1 winner over the trip too, having landed last year’s Black Caviar Lightning.

Golden Pal undoubtedly has any amount of speed to burn, but he relinquished the lead in the dying strides when contesting the Norfolk at Ascot a couple of years ago and a similar fate might await this time.

There is plenty to like about Blackbeard as he lines up in an ever-competitive Coventry Stakes.

The son of No Nay Never has won each of his three career outings, graduating from a Dundalk maiden to win a Listed contest at the Curragh, before taking Group 3 gold on his most recent start.

That Marble Hill Stakes success was pretty impressive, with Ryan Moore opting to make all on his first try at 1200m and Blackbeard looking much more impressive than the official margin of 3.50 lengths suggests.

Aidan O’Brien has a strong hand of juvenile colts again this term and the fact Blackbeard takes his chance speaks volumes.

Predominately jumps trainers have a rich heritage in the Ascot Stakes and Arcadian Sunrise looks a likely type for John Queally. Fourth in the Chester Cup on his 2022 bow, Arcadian Sunrise did not particularly seem to relish the tight circuit on the Roodee, raising hopes Ascot and a move back up to 4000m might suit.

Aristia could prove the solution to the Wolferton Stakes, while Chester Cup winner Cleveland can make it a double on the day for O’Brien in the closing Copper Horse Stakes.

Dropping back to 2800m should not prove an issue for the Camelot colt as, while he triumphed over 3600m at Chester, he was quick enough to strike over 1800m at the backend of last year. – Press Association


Top tips for Tuesday’s UK meetings

STRATFORD: Race 1: 14.35 Eva’s Diva, Race 2: 15.10 Rocked Up, Race 3: 15.45 Manor Park, Race 4: 16.20 Boston Joe, Race 5: 16.55 Awesomedude, Race 6: 17.30 Churchtown Glen.

THIRSK: Race 1: 14.45 Mazyuna, Race 2: 15.20 Let Her Loose, Race 3: 15.55 Quest For Fun, Race 4: 16.30 King’s Crusader, Race 5: 17.05 Cliffcake, Race 6: 17.40 Rich Rhythm, Race 7: 18.15 Harrogate.

ASCOT: Race 1: 15.30 Baaeed, Race 2: 16.05 BLACKBEARD (NAP), Race 3: 16.40 Nature Strip, Race 4: 17.20 Coroebus, Race 5: 18.00 Arcadian Sunrise, Race 6: 18.35 Aristia, Race 7: 19.10 Cleveland.

BEVERLEY: Race 1: 18.10 Sol Cayo, Race 2: 18.45 Paddy Elliott, Race 3: 19.15 Moss Gill, Race 4: 19.45 Grifter, Race 5: 20.15 Maggie And Me, Race 6: 20.45 Wild Thunder, Race 7: 21.15 Mac Ailey.

BRIGHTON: Race 1: 18.20 Iconic Knight, Race 2: 18.50 Al Khazneh, Race 3: 19.23 Jack Ryan, Race 4: 19.53 Boy George, Race 5: 20.23 Spanish Mane, Race 6: 20.53 Above It All, Race 7: 21.23 Dazzerling.

DOUBLE: Baaeed and Blackbeard (Ascot, Races 1 and 2).


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