Saturday Racing Preview: All Eyes On Baaeed In Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes

Betfred's Matt Hulmes turns to Newbury and Newmarket for his best tips of the weekend
16:25, 13 May 2022

It’s the first older horse Group 1 contest of the year in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes with all eyes on the unbeaten Baaeed. 

We never saw him until eleven months ago, we had no idea who he was this time last year but now William Haggas’ 4yo is unbeaten six from six, including a pair of Group 1s, and landed the QEII at Ascot on Champions’ Day. He looks the standout miler right now and the best at this distance since Frankel who looks set to dominate this season. 

It looks like the perfect starting point for his season and it is hard to look beyond him, although Mother Earth and Real World will keep him honest enough so that he can’t perform too far below his best. 

He is no betting proposition though at long odds-on, so we have to turn elsewhere for punting pointers. 

2.25 NEWMARKET - AUDITOR

A very competitive three-year-old sprint to decipher but there looks like one maybe overpriced. 

First of all, Lir Speciale makes his handicap debut off a fair looking mark after winning well at Doncaster two weeks ago. The second is only rated 73 and the fourth 70 so he was entitled to win well, and this asks more of him.

Haymaker won over course and distance a fortnight ago and Harry Davies 7lb claim means he is effectively 1lb lower. However, he and a rival raced away for the others, and they finished first and second so despite looking well weighted, he may have been flattered by that performance. 

The one who appears overpriced is AUDITOR on the back of a poor effort last time. That was at Chester though, where he was slowly away on soft ground from a wide draw, so pick your excuse! Back on a conventional track, on better ground and with James Doyle on board, he looks set to run well at a double figure price. His reappearance at Sandown looks stronger form now and he has been dropped 2lb.

2.25 NEWMARKET BETFRED ODDS*

2.45 NEWBURY – RED VINEYARD

The London Gold Cup is one of the hottest 3yo handicaps of the season that usually falls to a future graded star. 

The beautifully bred Israr caught the eye at Newmarket on seasonal return with paddock watchers certainly suggesting he needed that run. He is out of the King George winning mare Taghrooda who provides the stamina, but sire Muhaarar was a top-notch sprinter so he ticks all boxes. 

He could be leniently treated but RED VINEYARD gets the vote at a double figure price. He hit the line strongly at Sandown over this trip despite being keen and the third home won cosily at Newmarket on Thursday. The runner-up in that contest, Al Qareem ran at York on Friday and a line through him also gives Mr Big Stuff claims, but he is a few points shorter in the betting. 

William Muir and Chris Grassick jointly train the selection and they have tasted plenty of high-profile success of late courtesy of Pyledriver and they look to have another nice type on their hands. He won at a big price at Sandown but there seemed no fluke, the form looks solid and he looks sure to run a big race in a competitive contest.

2.45 NEWBURY BETFRED ODDS*

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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