Bangkok registers stylish Trial triumph at Lingfield

Balding runner impresses in Listed heat.

  • Saturday 01 February
  • News
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Bangkok stamped his class on the Betway Winter Derby Trial when running out an easy winner at Lingfield.

Andrew Balding thought he had a genuine Derby contender on his hands last spring after he won a trial at Sandown, but his charge ran no sort of a race at Epsom.

While he went on to run several other good races last season, he never got his head back in front, but looked the one to beat on his all-weather debut and was sent off the 13-8 favourite.

Court House made a bold bid, looking to give John Gosden a third successive win after Wissahickon last year and Utmost in 2018, but he looked a sitting duck for the favourite and so it proved.

Rob Hornby asked Bangkok to quicken and the race was quickly over, with Australia colt breaking the track record in the process.

“Bangkok is a class horse. I really thought going into the Derby last year (finished 12th) that we had a great chance, as he had been working so well, and for whatever reason he did not turn up,” said Balding.

“It has been a bit of a retrieval mission since, but he is a very good horse who is growing up mentally now and will have a good season ahead of him I hope.

“It would be tempting from my point of few to play it safe and come back here for the Winter Derby and Good Friday, but if he was to get an invitation to Saudi Arabia for the big one there (Saudi Cup, February 29), I know Silvestre (de Sousa, retained jockey) is very keen on that.

“Obviously, it will be the owners decision and we will discuss it, but if he was to get an invite for Saudi, I would be tempted to give the dirt a go to be honest, as I think he would run pretty well.

“It is a different type of dirt according to Silvestre, but the benchmark to get invited is going to be pretty high.

“Hopefully, he has done enough today to get one and then we can consider it. Maybe it is something we could do next year. All options are open.”

Good Effort took advantage of the late defection of Kachy to win the Betway Cleves Stakes, giving in-form rider Ben Curtis another winner in the process.

Tom Dascombe had hoped to book Kachy’s place on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, but he hurt himself in his box, which the trainer noticed as he was saddling the seven-year-old.

“It’s pretty heart-wrenching. The horse is fine, but he has a swelling on his back leg which he didn’t have yesterday,” Dascombe told Sky Sports Racing.

“He’s kicked the wall or rolled, he’s done something and I spotted it just as we were saddling up.

“He’s almost sound, but you just can’t take a chance. He’ll probably be sound tomorrow, he just needs some ice on it.”

The race itself was a very straightforward for Good Effort, trained by Ismail Mohammed, who made every yard of the running.

The 13-8 favourite came home a length and three-quarters clear of Soldier’s Minute.

Curtis said: “I am delighted this lad won. I sat on him in Newmarket on Wednesday morning, just to give him a breeze over a couple of furlongs, and he felt unreal.

“Today he was brilliant, and I did pretty much what I wanted to do. My plan was to jump out and make the running anyway, as Kachy had not run for a while and I wanted to make sure we tested his fitness.

“I was more worried about the track for my lad because he is a big, broad fella and it was a question of would he be balanced enough, but he flew around there and when I asked him off the bend, he put the race to bed.

“Now we know he can come down the hill and around that bend, he should definitely be a big contender on Finals Day.”

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