Baaeed strolls to Queen Anne triumph in Royal Ascot opener

Red-hot favourite Baaeed started Royal Ascot 2022 in fine style with a commanding length and three-quarters victory in the Queen Anne Stakes.

The William Haggas-trained four-year-old was sent off the 1/6 favourite under Jim Crowley and comfortably maintained his eight race unbeaten run.

Always travelling powerfully over the straight mile, the Sea The Stars colt quickened smartly two furlongs out and soon stamped his authority on the Group One contest as he kicked comfortably clear.

Baaeed only had to be pushed out hands and heels in the closing stages to score by a length and three-quarters, with the front-running Real World a clear second, just as he was in the Lockinge, and Order Of Australia third.

Crowley told ITV Racing: "It doesn't get any easier than that, everything went smoothly, he got a lovely tow into the race and I just let him stretch out in the last two furlongs - everything went like clockwork.

"This is the pinnacle of my riding career, you spend your whole life waiting for a horse like this.

"Everyone says 'enjoy it', but there is a lot of pressure, this is why we do it. Sheikh Hamdan will be looking down smiling."

Haggas said: "He won nicely, he didn't really do a lot really. I'll have to watch it again.

"He looked like he tracked the right horse, the other horse ran well actually, but I don't think he was extended fully.

"You can't learn anything from that, he travels well and settles well and that's pretty important if you're going up in trip.

"I'll speak to Sheikha Hissa and Angus (Gold, racing manager), but I think we are all keen to give it (stepping up in trip) a go and that will be at York and there's potentially Goodwood (Sussex Stakes) in the meantime.

"He's obviously a good miler and he's bred to get further so I think we'd like to try and I think it would be remiss of us not too. It would be the easy option to stay at a mile."

Of Real World, trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: "Baaeed is different class, it is the same result as at Newbury in the Lockinge. Real World ran well, he was just beaten by a better horse. He is getting closer, but not close enough!

"I am thinking about a mile and a quarter, maybe the Eclipse in two weeks. I would be keen to run him, but I need to see how he comes back from here. Maybe also the Juddmonte after."

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