Baaeed in a class of his own as he powers to an emphatic victory in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes

Baaeed kicked off his much-anticipated four-year-old campaign in sensational style as he comfortably sealed the win in Newbury’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes.

William Haggas' hotshot went unbeaten in six runs last term and graduated from winning a Leicester maiden in June to claiming successive Group Ones in September and October. 

The Sea The Stars colt was the frontrunner as he looked to extend his winning streak to seven, and it's fair to say that the favourite lived up to the hype, making short work of his rivals in the mile showpiece.

Real World produced the only bit of pressure on the winner as he ran a fine race to finish second. However, he was simply no match for Baaeed who proved too strong and won, under the stewardship of jockey Jim Crowley, by three-and-a-quarter lengths.

Crowley said: "He is an absolute pleasure to ride and very straightforward. He is the most beautifully-bred horse. He is everything you want in a racehorse. Nothing seems to faze him.

"He doesn't appear to have any weaknesses. I can't think of one. He is really bright, has gears, relaxes and stays the mile extremely well and has got a turn of foot. You couldn't ask for more really.

Jockey Jim Crowley celebrates with Baaeed

"I have sat last on him at Goodwood and he has got a very good turn of foot, so it is not like you have to be in a certain place in a race - just where he is happy, really.

"Mohaather, who won the Sussex Stakes, was very underestimated. What he did that day was exceptional. This horse looks like he could be the best (I've ridden).

"It was very straightforward. Everything went smoothly - it was like clockwork. There was not a lot of pace in the race, but he has such a turn of foot, but if they had gone quicker, it probably would have helped him."

A rather relieved Haggas said: "I have to say I have never been more nervous before a race than I was today. There was a bit of pressure, because all you fellows keep writing nice things about him. But he did it nicely today.

"I would not go as far as to say he is the best horse in the world - that is the sort of thing others might say - but he has done very well. It was a strongish field, there was a Classic winner in there and two fillies who were very useful last year, so he has done really well.

"If we step up to a mile and a quarter, if he stays fit and healthy, we will go for the Juddmonte."

READ MORE: Top five Lockinge Stakes winners of the 21st Century including Frankel, Ribchester and more

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