William Haggas nominated the unraced Baaeed as his horse to follow in Ahead On The Flat and the son of Sea The Stars made an excellent start to his career when winning on his debut at Leicester on Monday. A half-brother to Listed and Group 3 winner Hukum, he overcame a wide draw and slow start to win the one mile maiden at the Midlands track. Dane O'Neill's mount still had plenty to do turning for home but once asked for his effort, he took off on the outside and hit the front well inside the final furlong. A length and a quarter winner, he will have learned plenty and will be even better over further. He looks a hugely promising three year old and couldn't be in better hands. Judging by the number of emails I received after the race, plenty of readers took William's advice and took the 6/1 on offer.
Earlier on the card, it was hard not to be impressed by Surefire's win in the ten furlongs handicap. The Fastnet Rock colt had won at Newcastle last backend and shaped encouragingly on his reappearance at Windsor in April. Making his handicap debut off 82, he looked a well treated young horse as he strolled clear inside the final furlong to win by three and a quarter lengths. It will be interesting to see if Ralph Beckett is tempted to enter him at Royal Ascot in either the ten or twelve furlongs handicap. He will be a threat if turning up there.
It was good to see Highest Ground return to winning ways in the conditions stakes at the Midlands track. Well held in the Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown in April, Sir Michael Stoute's four year old appeared to relish the step up to a mile and a half for the first time. Staying on strongly, he readily saw off the challenge of Outbox to win cosily. Expect to see the Niarchos owned colt revert back to Pattern company next time.
Don't forget, if you would like to order a copy a copy of the Royal Ascot Update, please head to the Publications section of the site. The Update will be emailed to clients on Sunday (13th June).
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