Balding looking to Hong Kong to deliver Diomed victory

Big weekend for the Kingsclere team at Epsom

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Andrew Balding is hopeful Bye Bye Hong Kong can extend his winning run in the Investec Diomed Stakes at Epsom on Saturday.

Having shown useful form as a juvenile, the Street Sense colt made a winning three-year-old debut at Chelmsford in April and followed up with an all-the-way Listed success at Windsor earlier this month.

He takes another step up the ladder for this nine-furlong Group Three and Balding is keeping his fingers crossed his charge can continue his progress on Derby day.

It could be a huge weekend for the Balding team, with the Kingsclere maestro saddling a major contender for the Investec Derby in the shape of Bangkok, while the following afternoon impressive Fairway Stakes winner Raise You lines up in the French equivalent – the Prix du Jockey Club.

“He (Bye Bye Hong Kong) is in good form and I’ve been very pleased with his two wins this year,” said Balding.

“He’s taking on older horses again, but I would like to think he’ll like the track and hopefully he’ll run a big race”

Bye Bye Hong Kong is the only three-year-old in a field of seven runners, with Sir Michael Stoute’s Zaaki the likely favourite on the strength of his narrow victory over Barney Roy in the Paradise Stakes at Ascot.

Stoute will also have high hopes of landing the Princess Elizabeth Stakes with the high-class Veracious.

Having been placed at the highest level in both the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood last season, the daughter of Frankel was a hot favourite for her seasonal reappearance in the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket, but could finish only fourth.

Chris Richardson, managing director of owner-breeder Cheveley Park Stud, said: “I think we were all a bit disappointed with her last run.

“I don’t know if she didn’t like the ground as it was pretty uneven on the day because of the all the rain they had. We’ll put a line through it and move on.

“Sir Michael is very happy with her and we know she’s a good filly.

“Hopefully she’ll take to Epsom and we can decide from there whether we go to Royal Ascot.”

Veracious faces seven rivals including Mark Johnston’s tough-as-teak filly Nyaleti and the William Haggas-trained Awesometank, a narrow winner of a Listed contest at Goodwood on her latest outing.

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