Baaeed could end up being one of the shortest-priced Royal Ascot runners in a decade when the unbeaten colt takes six rivals in the opening contest of the week, the Queen Anne Stakes.
An easy winner of the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on his seasonal bow, the William Haggas-trained son of Sea The Stars is as short as 1-5 to make it eight unbeaten in the Group One contest run over the straight mile.
On official ratings, he is 7lb superior to those closest in the market, Real World and Order Of Australia, both of whom he has already beaten.
Owned by Shadwell Stud, Baaeed has made rapid strides since making his debut as a three-year-old in June last year.
The crack miler’s last three victories have come at the highest level, a spree which includes the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp and the Queen Elizabeth II over the same course and distance he will encounter on Tuesday.
Yet despite having beaten a race-fit Real World by an easy three and a quarter lengths under Jim Crowley on his previous start, Shadwell’s racing manager Angus Gold says any thoughts that victory is a given should be immediately kicked into touch.
Gold said: “Anybody whoever describes the race as a penalty kick is asking for trouble.
“So many things can go wrong and we would not be so cocky to say that.
“On form, he is probably the best horse in it, but it is a horse race and anything can happen.
“As long as he is in good form and as long as he runs his race, he should give himself every chance of winning it.”
On the 10th anniversary of Frankel’s arresting 11-length win in the same race, Baaeed has started to draw obvious comparisons with the Qipco British Champions Series Hall of Fame colt.
Though rated some 15lb inferior to the late Henry Cecil’s trainee, on official ratings Baaeed is now currently considered to be the best in the world.
Gold is quick to dampen any comparisons, although admits connections are enjoying the journey he is taking them on, despite the pressure Haggas and his big-race jockey Jim Crowley may be under.
“I’m sure if you are handling the horse, of course it is pressure,” said Gold.
“From my point of view, you can say there is no point being nervous, as there is nothing I can do.
“But at the same time, to use an old cliche, this is why we all do it – to get a good horse this good, and there is no point not enjoying it when you do get one. We are very lucky to have him.
“Of course, all you want to do is see that the horse gets there in one piece and runs his race.
“If he does, he should win it. But things can go wrong. We don’t know if he’s feeling good, he could get knocked over coming out of the stalls, anything can happen. You just don’t know.
“It is no good being arrogant about it. He is a very good horse but nobody in our camp is saying he is the next Frankel and we have a long way to go before we start getting into those dizzying realms, but he is a very nice horse to have and hopefully he can showcase his talents.”
With temperatures climbing and little sign of any rain in the forecasts over the next few days, Baaeed is likely to encounter quicker ground than he has faced thus far.
Haggas, however, feels he will take it in his stride, and said: “I’ve always thought he would enjoy racing on a faster surface than he was getting last year, and he’s in good form.
“His new position in the rankings is a bigger deal for the press than it is for me, but he’s obviously good.”
Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor took plenty of time to mull over options for last season’s Royal Hunt Cup winner Real World, but has plumped to take on racing’s new superstar, having chased him home at Newbury.
Despite defeat in the Lockinge, Real World answered a few questions following two disappointing efforts on dirt in the Saudi Cup and in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan.
“We tried him on dirt and it didn’t work,” said Bin Suroor. “He is a different horse on turf and he ran a big race at Newbury behind Baaeed, who is a superstar. We take him on again and we are hopeful. He is a happy horse and he has been working good.
“The stiff mile at Ascot should suit him as he showed there last year in a handicap. This is a Group One, though, so we will see.”
The 2020 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Order Of Australia was fifth in this race last year, before finishing second in two Group Ones, including getting within a length and a quarter of Baaeed in the Moulin.
He has been off the track since October but has been pleasing at home and bids to give trainer Aidan O’Brien a fifth win in the contest.
“He was injured at Keeneland on his last run, which is why he’s been off so long,” said O’Brien. “He had a hairline fracture of a fetlock and had to have a pin in it, but we’ve been happy with him at home.”