Bangkok produced another power-packed display over a mile and a quarter at Lingfield Park with victory in the Betway Easter Classic under a masterful Silvestre de Sousa ride.
The five-year-old had lowered the course record when taking the Listed Betway Winter Derby Trial in February 2020, a race he also captured this year before finishing eighth in the Saudi Cup.
Sky Defender cut out the running for much of the race, with 5/6 favourite Bangkok settling in fourth behind Palavecino and Forest Of Dean.
De Sousa took closer order around the field to go third with three furlongs left, keeping the G3 Betway Winter Derby victor Forest Of Dean hemmed in on the rail.
Pavalecino (8/1) hit the front just inside the final furlong and rallied when Bangkok challenged soon after, with the Andrew Balding-trained runner asserting near the line for a neck verdict. Forest Of Dean (2/1) finished a length and a quarter further back in third.
Balding said: “Silvestre gave Bangkok a lovely ride – he kept Forest Of Dean in at a vital stage and just had that little bit always up his sleeve.
“It was a great ride and I’m thrilled for the horse. Ryan Moore felt he ran on well when he ran here before he went to Saudi and that a mile and a half would suit him well now.
“He is relaxing so much more in his races. He is bred to stay a mile and a half, and I think we will be looking at options over further. Silvestre did also say we could keep him at 10 furlongs and even drop him back to a mile, so there is lots to consider. I don’t know what our grand plan will be, but we’ve got lots of options.
“Bangkok only has a Listed penalty so he is eligible for lots of races including Group Threes without a penalty, so we will have a lot of fun trying to pick races which he can be competitive in.
“He has been a star horse. He has maybe not hit the heights we hoped at one stage when he won the Sandown Classic Trial – we thought he was going to develop into a serious Derby contender – but he seems to be relaxing into his races now, which gives him lots of options going forward.”
4.15pm Betway Easter Classic
1 Bangkok (King Power Racing Co Ltd) Andrew Balding 5-9-05 Silvestre de Sousa 5/6 fav
2 Palavecino (Araam) Brian Meehan 5-9-05 Martin Dwyer 8/1
3 Forest Of Dean (Godolphin) John Gosden 5-9-05 James Doyle 2/1
Andrew Balding - 3rd winner on Finals Day
Silvestre de Sousa - 3rd winner on Finals Day