GB: Riyadh’s loss may be Surrey’s gain as classy performer Bangkok heads the field for Saturday’s Betway Winter Derby at Lingfield Park.
The 10-furlong Polytrack contest, one of the highlights of the All-Weather Championships, is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic over the course and distance on Finals Day, Good Friday, April 10.
Trainer Andrew Balding had been hoping for a late invitation to the $20m Saudi Cup, the world’s richest race on February 29.
However, the letter presumably never arrived and four-year-old stays closer to home for the £100,000 Winter Derby, for which he is odds-on favourite with the sponsors following a comfortable success on his all-weather debut at Lingfield at the start of the month.
That victory came in the designated trial for Saturday’s G3 event, and he had Lingfield opponent Court House 4½ lengths back in second.
Alistair Donald, the King Power racing manager, said: “Bangkok is in good form and the Betway Winter Derby is the intended target. He has been pleasing Andrew and the team at Kingsclere since the Winter Derby Trial.
“He obviously has to take on Dubai Warrior who looks a worthy opponent along with Court House, but we are hopeful of a good performance. He is a worthy favourite and a reproduction of his latest run should see him go close and hopefully come out on top.”
Britain’s champion trainer John Gosden had the one-two 12 months ago when Wissahickon beat Court House, who is joined this time by the progressive Dubai Warrior, who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori.
The four-year-old justified favouritism with a convincing success over Court House in Listed company in December and has won four of his five starts on the all-weather.
Winter Derby betting
Betway: 18-25 Bangkok, 9-4 Dubai Warrior, 8 Century Dream. 9 Court House, 25 Dalgarno, Master The World, 33 Entangling, Pactolus, 80 Normal Norman.