Will Bangkok bounce back at Royal Ascot?

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Andrew Balding will be taking Bangkok to Royal Ascot, despite running poorly in the Epsom Derby.

Bangkok previously beat Telecaster at Doncaster back in March, who went on to win the Dante at York.

Yet despite this form, Bangkok was unable to justify strong market support for him to win the Derby, leaving Balding very confused by his performance.

If you were to say before the race that Bangkok would once again beat Telecaster, you would imagine he would have come close to landing the race. However, Telecaster was the only horse in which Bangkok got the better of, as they both finished at the back of the pack.

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Balding said: “Obviously it was a hugely disappointing run and we don’t have any real reason or excuse – we’re scratching our heads a bit”.

“Silvestre de Sousa felt he didn’t really handle the track, but I couldn’t say for sure as I wasn’t riding him. I think we will look at Royal Ascot – that is more than likely.”

Bangkok is set to compete in the King Edward VII Stakes, his only entry at Royal Ascot, but he won’t have to face Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck who will sidestep the meeting and look for a better option.

Anthony Van Dyck wasn’t among the favourites to win the Derby, having started the race at 9-1. 

Aidan O’Brien has decided to take his Derby winner to Ireland to compete in the Classic at the Curragh on 22nd June.

Horse racing betting suggests Bangkok has an outside chance of glory at Royal Ascot, as he is priced at 11-1. His odds were expected to shorten if Anthony Van Dyck was to be withdrawn but that has not been the case, and Bangkok appears to be slightly unfancied in the market.

However, even though O’Brien has chosen to take his superstar elsewhere, it is well worth noting his horses also filled third, fourth, fifth and sixth in the Epsom Derby.

Japan, who finished third, holds an entry and is currently the 5-4 favourite to win the King Edward VII Stakes. In fact, all of O’Brien’s horses which ran in the Epsom Derby hold entries to the same race at Royal Ascot.

O’Brien holds a strong hand, not only because all of his horses got the better of Bangkok at Epsom but because he has already been among the winners already at Royal Ascot.

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Circus Maximus, who finished sixth in the Derby, opted to race in the St James’s Palace on opening day and won with a late run at odds of 10-1.

However, as Bangkok came out of that race completely fine, Balding will be hoping he can leave that run behind him and show his true, promising form which has he has done already this season.

He has now had experience in one of the toughest races on the flat and that can only be a positive, as he heads to Royal Ascot.

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