Baaeed comes into this year’s Lockinge as potentially the biggest star since Frankel. However, despite being unbeaten in six starts, the trends do not favour him as much as may be expected. Find out our pointers to this year’s Lockinge below, alongside Bet365’s new customer offer of £50 in Free Bets when you bet £10.
Though it is often thought to be very difficult for four-year-olds early on in the season, as they know longer have any age allowances in terms of weight, eight of the last ten winners had only recently turned four. Older milers have struggled, with only Farhh and Mustashry of more advancing ages since 2011. The extra exuberance and pace perhaps tends to get lost as horses grow older and so Real World, Sir Busker and Sunray Major may find themselves struggling.
Intriguingly, until Palace Pier last year, seven successive winners of the Lockinge had been beaten on their previous start. Even Palace Pier had failed on his last run in Group 1 company, but had returned in, and won, the Group 2 Bet365 Mile at Sandown. It is certainly not imperative to have scored on your most recent effort prior to the Lockinge, though nine of the last ten winners had at least been in the first four immediately prior. The unbeaten record Baaeed holds is impossible to be viewed negatively, but is not a stick to beat his rivals with.
Every winner between 2011 and 2015 had come into the Lockinge fresh for the year. However, the tide could not have turned in more dramatic fashion since then, as the last five winners had all had at least one run in that calendar year. Belardo, Mustashry and Palace Pier had all warmed up in Britain within a month of the Lockinge, while Ribchester had run in Dubai and Rhododendron in France. The only runner in this field to have not had a run in 2022 so far? Baaeed. Hmmm.
Mustashry’s official rating of 115 was the lowest of any Lockinge winner since 2011. Overall, seven of the last ten were rated at least 120, which we can adjust to 117 for fillies and mares due to their 3lb sex allowance. Only the top four in the market would surpass Mustashry in adjusted ratings, while only Baaeed and Alcohol Free reach a mark of 120 with allowances taken into account for the latter.
Nine of the last decade’s Lockinge winners were by Group 1 winners themselves, with only Ribchester being by a sire without a top tier success. However, even he has a damsire in Marju who scored at Group 1 level. Narrowing it down further, seven of the sires who had Group 1 success during their racing careers had won at least one race at that level over 1m or shorter. Six of those seven winners also have a Group 1-winning damsire too. Even taking this more nuanced approach only rules out three runners in this year’s Lockinge line-up: New Mandate, Sir Busker and Sunray Major.
Eight of the ten winners since 2011 had already scored at Group 1 level. This trend perfectly coincides with the age section in this respect: those eight Group 1 victors were the eight-four-year-olds, with the two older horses, Farhh and Mustashry, the only two who were claiming their first top level race in the Lockinge. None of the three older horses have yet won a Group 1, but this is more of a trend success for Alcohol Free, Baeed and Mother Earth, who are all of the youngest generation here and have already claimed Group 1s.
The trends strongly favour four-year-olds who have already mixed it successfully in this company. Though Baaeed does have a strong hand, his unbeaten record does not serve to lessen the claims of others, as many recent winners have claimed this off the back of defeats. Moreover, all of the last five winners had done so with the benefit of a recent outing and he is the only horse in this field without one. As such, Andrew Balding’s filly ALCOHOL FREE may be the one to side with. She is the only horse, along with Baaeed, who can claim an adjusted rating of 120 or above, which most recent winners had obtained prior to victory here. She has had a warm-up run in which she finished in the top four and could give the favourite a fright.
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