‘Best since Frankel’ – riding giants salute Lockinge hero Baaeed

Lockinge-winning riders Mick Kinane and Philip Robinson have heaped praise on William Haggas’ Baaeed after he maintained his flawless record with a tremendous victory in the race on Saturday.

The Sea The Stars colt was imperious under Jim Crowley when brushing off a field of Group winners to stroll to a three-and-a-quarter-length success – his seventh in seven runs.

The triumph was enough to inspire tentative comparisons with the great Frankel, who won the Lockinge in 2012 on his way to an undefeated career that saw him head to stud as one of the greatest Flat horses of all time.

One such comparison was made by former jockey Philip Robinson, whose Lockinge victory aboard Rakti in 2005 still remains the fastest ever seen.

“He’s the best horse I’ve seen since Frankel, pure and simple,” he said of Baaeed.

Rakti and Philip Robinson (right) winning the Lockinge Stakes
Rakti and Philip Robinson (right) winning the Lockinge Stakes (Max Nash/PA)

“I’ve thought he’s a very good horse for some time and he was seriously impressive. I’ve been impressed with him before in all of his previous runs and it’s there to be seen now.

“How much he can do from here is anybody’s guess. He’s a lovely, lovely horse all round and he must be a pleasure to be involved with.

“I think one only comes along that’s as good as this about every 10 years.”

Mick Kinane steered Hawk Wing to a Lockinge victory considered by many to be one of the most impressive ever witnessed and the riding great is looking forward to seeing Baaeed tested both at Royal Ascot and potentially over a longer trip in the future.

“He looks a very exciting horse going forward. If he keeps on improving then he’s going to be very hard to beat through the year and you have to look forward to him running in the Queen Anne at Ascot,” he said.

Hawk Wing and Mick Kinane on their way to Lockinge success
Hawk Wing and Mick Kinane on their way to Lockinge success (Barry Batchelor/PA)

“We know what can happen with horses at any given time and nothing is for certain, but you would imagine he will be peaking at Ascot and it will be very exciting to watch.

“These great milers are always exciting to ride, they are explosive and always have a great turn of pace and it’s the best fun you’ll have on any horse if you get a very good miler.”

Of the prospect of Baaeed following in the footsteps of Frankel and stepping up to 10 furlongs, he added: “I would say a mile and a quarter later in the year would be well within his scope. He has pace and power and it would be a bonus if he was to step up later in the year.

“If a horse can win a race like the Juddmonte International, it’s a mile two and 100 yards, they have to get an extended mile and a quarter to do that you know.

“He looks like he’ll be a very valuable stallion prospect, so it’s very exciting for connections.”

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