Classy performer Bangkok begins his 2020 campaign in the £45,000 Listed Betway Winter Derby Trial (2.55pm, seven runners) at Lingfield Park this Saturday, February 1.
The 10-furlong Polytrack prize, a key pointer towards the £100,000 G3 Betway Winter Derby over the course and distance on February 22, is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £200,000 Betway Easter Classic back at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 10.
Bangkok (Andrew Balding/Rob Hornby) sets the standard with an official rating of 112 and makes his All-Weather debut after several good performances on turf in 2019.
The four-year-old impressed when landing the G3 Sandown Classic Trial in April and his subsequent efforts included runner-up finishes in the G2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and the G3 Strensall Stakes at York's Ebor Festival. Owned by King Power Racing, the Australia colt filled the same position on his latest start in the Qatar Derby at Doha on December 21.
Trainer Andrew Balding said today: "Bangkok ran very well in Qatar on the back of a break and I have been delighted with him since.
"This is obviously his first race on the All-Weather but he seems to cope with it well in his work at home.
"We will wait to see how gets on here before committing to the Winter Derby, as he also has a couple of international options.
"This is very much a toe in the water to find out where we are at."
The line-up also features Extra Elusive (Roger Charlton/Richard Kingscote), who has not been seen out since going down by a head to Elarqam in the Listed Gala Stakes at Sandown Park in July, after which he was gelded. Extra Elusive's latest All-Weather start saw him finish second in the Listed Magnolia Stakes at Kempton Park in March.
Lingfield Park regular Court House (Robert Havlin) is aiming to give champion trainer John Gosden a third successive victory in the Betway Winter Derby Trial, following Wissahickon and Utmost.
Court House was third behind Wissahickon in this race 12 months ago before finishing second to the same rival in the Betway Winter Derby. He again had to play second fiddle to a stablemate when second to Dubai Warrior in the Listed Betway Quebec Stakes at Lingfield Park on December 21.
Nine-year-old Master The World (David Elsworth/William Carson) is three-time winner over the course and distance, most memorably in the 2018 Betway Winter Derby. He has not raced since contesting a handicap at Glorious Goodwood in July.
Trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam is doubly represented by Dalgarno (Ben Curtis), winner of the Listed Prix Lyphard at Deauville in November, and likely outsider Extrodinair (Daniel Muscutt).
All-Weather stalwart Pactolus (Stuart Williams/P J McDonald), a 12-time winner on artificial surfaces, also runs.
Star sprinter Kachy (Tom Dascombe/Richard Kingscote) is chasing a hat-trick in the other Fast-Track Qualifier on the card, the £45,000 Listed Betway Cleves Stakes (1.45pm, eight runners) over six furlongs.
Kachy set a track record of 1m 8.32s in this race last year and subsequently rounded off an unbeaten All-Weather season with a majestic display in the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championship on Good Friday.
The seven-year-old, who has been successful in five of his six starts on the All-Weather, has not raced since finishing third behind Blue Point in the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
The impeccably bred Habub (Owen Burrows/David Probert), a son of War Front out of US G1 scorer Sweet Lulu, won three of his five starts on the All-Weather in 2019. He impressed on his latest start when landing a mile conditions race at Chelmsford City in October.
Good Effort (Ismail Mohammed/Ben Curtis) and Royal Birth (Stuart Williams/Jason Hart) meet again after they fought out the finish to a five-furlong Fast-Track Qualifier at Newcastle on January 8.
The eight runners also include Listed Betway Golden Rose Stakes second Tinto (Amanda Perrett/Robert Havlin) and recent course and distance scorer Merhoob (John Ryan/Jack Mitchell).
Soldier's Minute (Keith Dalgleish/Joe Fanning) and Lady Dancealot (David Elsworth/Hayley Turner) complete the field.
Lingfield Park's seven-race programme starts at 12.35pm and ends at 4.05pm.