Bangkok is on course for a rematch with Court House after both heavyweight contenders featured among the 17 remaining acceptors for this month’s Betway Winter Derby at Lingfield.
Andrew Balding’s Bangkok served notice of his Polytrack potential when he beat John Gosden’s Court House into a four-and-a-half-length second on his all-weather debut in last weekend’s Listed Winter Derby Trial.
Court House, runner-up in last year’s Winter Derby, is one of several set to re-oppose Bangkok in the Group Three feature on February 22 despite being put in their place in the trial.
The £100,000 Winter Derby is a fast-track qualifier for the Betway Easter Classic, over the same course and distance of 10 furlongs, on Good Friday’s All-Weather Finals Day in April.
Court House is one of three possibles for Gosden, whose recent winners Dubai Warrior and Global Giant also remain in the reckoning.
Dubai Warrior was scoring his fourth all-weather victory from five attempts when he beat Court House into second in the Listed Quebec Stakes at Lingfield in December.
Since then, on stable debut, Global Giant was an emphatic new-year winner at Wolverhampton – giving Gosden a strong hand again for a race he took last year with Wissahickon.
Among other potential challengers is Henri-Francois Devin’s French hope Villa Rosa, who is yet to run on the all-weather but has winning Group Three and Listed form in her home country.
Devin said: “Villa Rosa is is going to do a piece of work (next) Tuesday, and then we will make a decision about whether or not she goes for the Betway Winter Derby.
“She is coming along nicely – but with a filly coming out of the winter, ideally you would like to see her flourish a bit.
“There is a chance the Winter Derby might come a bit too soon, but I have been happy with her work up to now.”
Other hopefuls include possible Irish challenger Numerian, from Joseph O’Brien’s yard – a Group Three runner-up when last seen at Dundalk in September, and gelded since.
Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Dalgarno, Stuart Williams’ Pactolus and David Elsworth’s Master The World – Winter Derby winner two years ago – are all on course to face Bangkok again after respectively finishing third, fourth and fifth in the trial.
Other notable opponents include Simon Crisford’s Group Three winner Century Dream, Felix – unbeaten in his two all-weather starts for Marco Botti – and Mark Johnson’s German Classic runner-up Arctic Sound.