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Fitness Favours Bangkok As Hat-Trick Looms

By Ray Hickson

Jockey Rachel King says being an in-form mare tackling some fringe spring players with a fitness edge and a light weight is what Bangkok has going for her at Randwick on Saturday.

Bangkok has rushed swiftly through the grades during winter and chases a hat-trick in the Spring Preview Handicap (1400m) on the Kensington track having accounted for an open class field two weeks ago.

The five-year-old is one of only three horses under double figures ($6.50) with TAB and she’ll be in receipt of 6.5kg and 7kg from the two early favourites Godolphin import Wren’s Day and Seaway.

“She’s worked her way through the grades quite nicely this preparation and seems to be full of confidence,’’ King said.

“She does go better on the softer tracks but I don’t see it being a disadvantage, particularly since she is in such great form.’’

The key to Bangkok’s winning run for trainer Allan Denham has been her ability to switch off in the run and then let go with a sharp dash as she showed when sweeping past Fortensky last start.

Bangkok wins at Randwick on August 3

That sprint saw her record the meeting’s fastest last 600m of 33.74 (Punter’s Intelligence).

“You can put her wherever you want, the last couple of starts she’s been ridden just off midfield and that seems to suit her well,’’ King said.

“Just off the pace, if there’s not too much pressure on her early she can show that turn of foot.

“I’ve ridden quite a bit for the owner John Thompson and he’s keen to put me on when I can. It was good to have another win for him and great of him to keep me on.’’

King partners Royal Witness in the ATC Member Tours Handicap (1000m) and is convinced the Joe Pride-trained gelding is close to a win after two runs back.

He’s had a tickover trial since his second behind Taniko four weeks ago and has an affinity with the Kensington 1000m where he’s yet to taste defeat.

“There’s a bit of other speed in the race but I don’t mind that with him, I don’t mind if something else wants to go, he’s quite happy to sit off them,’’ she said.

“He doesn‘t pull hard, he’s just a natural runner. He’s very genuine, no matter what he runs a good race and I’m sure he’ll be doing that again.

“The horses that are up on speed in the shorter races on the Kensington can be hard to run down. He handles it really well and seems to enjoy racing there.’’

Royal Witness was a $7 chance on Thursday in a wide open TAB market.

All the fields, form and replays for Saturday's Kensington meeting at Randwick

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