Tragic Leicester chairman’s horse named among Epsom Derby favourites

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Bangkok, named after Vichai’s native Thai capital city, will line up at Britain’s richest race in the late owner’s King Power colours.

He has been given odds of 8/1 with bookmakers giving him an excellent chance of securing a highly emotional win.

He will be ridden by British champion Jockey Sylvestre de Sousa, backed by trainer Andrew Balding.

A Racing Post spokesperson said: “I don’t think among the general public there would be a more popular winner. 

“If he does win I suspect there would be some pretty emotional scenes. Let’s hope we see them.”

Vichai previously watched on as Bangkok competed at Ascot.

A triumph for the horse would mark a powerful surge of mixed emotions after Vichai’s death last year.

He and four others were killed when his helicopter took off from the King Power Stadium and hurtled into the ground following a Leicester game with West Ham.

Recalling the crash, Balding said: “We had enjoyed a great day with his horses.

“Morando dead-heated for the St Simon Stakes, Happy Pearl won at Doncaster and Fox Tal finished third in a Group 1 in France. 

“After driving home from Newbury we were having dinner with the kids down the pub.

“While I was there one of my owners texted me saying I needed to turn on the news. I did and it was awful.”

And bloodstock agent, Alastair Donald, said: “I very much remember it.

“I was watching TV with my children when Andrew rang me and said, ‘Jesus, you need to turn on the news.’

“When I did I could see straightaway we were facing the worst possible scenario.

“We didn’t only know him. We knew the pilots, the staff, the assistants. We knew them all. Inevitably the thoughts running through our minds were, ‘God, who was in there?’.”

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