Andrew Balding: Bangkok is best we’ve had in terms of ability
The Betway ambassador previews his runners at Ascot, York, Chester and Salisbury on Saturday.
Although it hasn’t been the busiest week for us in terms of runners, we’ve had plenty going on preparing for a charity event at Park House on Thursday and our summer owners’ party on Friday.
There was a really good turn out on Thursday in what was blistering heat and we raised some important money for Batten disease, a horrific illness which a close family friend of ours has been suffering with for many years. We were really grateful to everyone for coming along and supporting the event.
Ascot on Saturday
We have two in the mile handicap (14:25). I thought Flashcard ran really well at Newmarket last time in what was a muddling kind of race.
Hopefully there will be more pace in this and if there is I could see him running really well. We’ve been very happy with him at home.
Rectory Road is a good horse but he’s coming here off the back of a long break and he’s pretty light on experience as well. He’s been working well and certainly has the ability to sneak into the places.
The King George (15:40) is obviously a very good race, as it should be, but there is some rain forecast so I’m glad we kept Morando in.
The top two look head and shoulders above the rest, but if they get the top end of the forecast then our horse could certainly run into a place. The prize money is so good that finishing third or fourth is pretty much better than winning a Group Two.
I think the market has it right at the head of the betting. Enable is the super mare and the one we all have to beat.
Defoe is a very good horse, but we weren’t far behind him in the Hardwicke and I’d love to take him on again on soft ground.
Lariat goes in the closing 1m4f handicap (17:20) and he has been very consistent this season, he’s a useful performer. He would appreciate any juice in the ground and if they get enough rain it would give him every chance.
York on Saturday
In an ideal world we don’t want a huge amount of rain for Bangkok at York (15:15), good or good to soft would be fine.
I’m really happy with him and in terms of ability he’s as good as we’ve got or ever had. He hasn’t quite done on the racecourse yet what he has shown at home, but he is still a young horse.
If it does go soft, he will probably still take his chance as with any autumn targets we’ll need to find out if he can handle give in the ground. A few of his relatives did, so we can take positives from that.
Regal Reality has some solid form this season, while if the rain comes Addeybb would be a tough opponent. On good ground, though, I’d like to think we can mix it with any of them.
Chester on Saturday
We have a busy day at Chester where first up we have Spanish Angel in the five furlong novice (14:00).
The form of his second at Goodwood in May has worked out well and he’s been off the track since. There hasn’t been a problem, we just wanted to give him some time and his work has been solid.
He’ll need to improve to win, but as with all races at Chester it will depend on who handles the track best.
Kitcarina won well at Kempton on her first start for the yard and should go well in the fillies’ handicap (14:35).
She’s a filly we like and I think she’s at the right end of the handicap. She’ll need a bit of luck, but if she copes with the track she’s the one they have to beat.
Inclyne goes for the fillies’ novice (15:50) and will be facing a tough opponent in John Gosden’s Litigious, although she has a wide draw to deal with.
We’ve had a bit more luck with the draw and 1m4f on good ground should be perfect. Her form is pretty solid and hopefully she’ll be there or thereabouts.
We hope that Be More can bounce back in the apprentice handicap (16:25). It was a strong race at Ascot last time and she didn’t run badly. She’d won well at Goodwood the time before that.
She’ll need a bit of luck and things to pan out right, but seven and a half furlongs on a turning track should be right up her street.
Diocletian wouldn’t want the ground to dry up too much in the staying handicap (17:00), he’s a much better horse with give in the ground. He’s on a mark that he should be winning off soon.
We’re dropping Paradise Boy back in trip and we hope that will work well for him in the 1m2f handicap (17:35). He handles Chester fine but has a nasty draw so we’d be hoping he could run into the places.
Salisbury on Saturday
We have two at Salisbury on Saturday evening and first is Strict Tempo in the seven furlong handicap (19:15). She has been disappointing this year, but ran alright at Newmarket last time. These look ideal conditions for her, though, so she should have every chance.
We run Johnny Kid in the 1m6f handicap (20:15) which looks quite a strong race for the grade. He is stepping up in trip and we hope that can eke out some more improvement. He’s not been beaten far on his last two starts.
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