The Stephane Wattel-trained City Light (8/1) became the second French winner (Funny Kid, Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships) on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, in the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships over six furlongs.
The four-year-old son of Siyouni, successful in a Fast-Track Qualifier at Chantilly earlier this month, unleashed a potent turn of foot under Theo Bachelot to master the well-supported 11/8 favourite Kachy, trained by Tom Dascombe by a length and a half.
Wattel, who trains in Deauville and has around 60 horses, said: “I’m very pleased with Theo’s ride. It is not an easy track to ride but I am very pleased – this is my first winner in England.
“City Light was impressive in Chantilly last time and he improved for the All-Weather last time and then we thought about coming here.
“There is no better place to come and win than Lingfield – it was my dream to win here.
“He didn’t have the best draw today (drawn 9), but it gave Theo the best opportunity to make his own decision and it worked out nicely in the end.
“We engaged the horse in an invitational race at Hong Kong in April (G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize, 6f, turf, April 29). I hope they look at his race today and he has the chance to go there in a month’s time.
“City Light has really impressed us since the autumn and as he is a four-year-old we may have more time to win more races like this.
“Lingfield have been excellent with us and we have been warmly received here.
“There is a lot of emotion and pleasure to win a race like this.
“We will return to Britain later on this year, as we have a horse for the 2000 Guineas called Sacred Life. He was unbeaten last year.”
HOMEWORK BEFORE THE SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIPS PAYS OFF FOR FRENCH JOCKEY THEO BACHELOT
French jockey Theo Bachelot had had six rides in the UK ahead of today’s All-Weather Championship Finals Day – five at Lingfield and one at Kempton – the best result being two third placings.
He went two places better today aboard City Light, a four-year-old colt trained by Stephane Wattel, winner of the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships over six furlongs.
“They went a fast pace, which suited,” said Bachelot. “I looked at the race beforehand and I thought Kachy was the one to beat – and so it proved. My horse is fast and we had a wide draw in nine to overcome; I was worried about the draw beforehand.
“My horse likes the Polytrack surface and 1,400m [seven furlongs] is the best distance for him.
“He jumped well and I had a very good run through behind Kachy. I swung perfect off the corner behind him. In the straight, I always thought I would get to Kachy and when we did get to him, we won quite comfortably.
“I think City Light is getting better with age. I am not sure what the next plan is with him.”‘
City Light won the Chantilly Fast Track Qualifier on March 6 over six and a half furlongs and won by a length and a half today
KACHY DENIED BY THE FRENCH
Hot favourite, 11/8 chance Kachy, was beaten by French challenger, City Light (8/1), who came home one and a half lengths to the good.
Tom Dascombe, trainer of the five-year-old Kyllachy entire, said: “He has run his heart out, it didn’t go right for us from the start. We ended up three wide, which wasn’t where we wanted to be.
“Well done to the French horse. He has won well.
“We have beaten all the ones that we had taken on before, further than before – he has probably run the best race he has ever run on the All-Weather and yet nothing went right for us.
“I have no idea what will happen next, today was the plan. We will have a think about it and see where we go.”
Richard Kingscote, jockey of the second, said: “We didn’t get the cleanest break from the stalls, which put us on the back foot being three wide.
“The French horse has beat us fair a square to be honest. I am a little disappointed because it has not gone completely smoothly, but he has run a very good race.”