Christophe Ferland, trainer of 7/2 chance Funny Kid for owners Wertheimer Et Frere and based near Bordeaux in France, admitted that he was quietly confident before the two-mile £150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships and thought his horse Funny Kid could reverse placings with last-time-out victor Watersmeet.
“Funny Kid has a very good turn of foot,” said Ferland, who has 120 horses in his care. “I knew he would come on for the last run [at Wolverhampton] as he was just not 100 per cent fit then and he came here today 200 per cent. Maxime [Guyon] knows him so well there is no need to give him instructions, the horse was a little fresh early in the race but I was not concerned.
“It was a great win. The pace was not very fast and that suited Funny Kid very well. The horse in front gave us a good lead and, although the winning distance was short, he won!
“Funny Kid likes good ground so we will keep him going through the summer, we may come back to the UK for the staying races.”
Ferland’s principal owner is the Wertheimer Et Frere and the best he has trained so far is the former champion French two-year-old champion Dabirsim.
“I am based in the south west of France near Bordeaux on the seaside. I train 120 horses and my principal owner is the Wertheimer family. I have trained G1 winners for them, and also trained Dabirsim, who was champion two-year-old and a champion stallion now,” he added.
Ferland, who was visiting Lingfield for the first time, is the second trainer from France to enjoy success on All-Weather Championship Finals Day after Pia Brandt’s victory with Fresles in the Fillies’ and Mares’ Championship in 2015.
FUNNY KID HAS LAST LAUGH FOR GUYON
The Christophe Ferland-trained Funny Kid (7/2) swooped late under Maxime Guyon to win a thrilling renewal of the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships.
The French raider travelled well throughout the two mile contest and stayed on strongly in the closing stages to reel in James Fanshawe’s Lord George (10/1) by a nose on the line, with long-time leader Watersmeet (3/1 joint-favourite), trained by Mark Johnston, a neck behind in third.
Guyon, who rode three G1 winners in Britain aboard Solow in 2015 in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Sponsored by QIPCO at Ascot, was delighted to register another big-race winner in Britain.
He said: “We had a good run through behind the second. The pace was not very fast but that suited me because Funny Kid has a very good turn of foot.
“He was a little bit fresh, which is why he wanted to go. When he ran in England last time, the pace was faster than today and when I came to win, he stopped a little bit.
“I rode for Pia Brandt here a year ago. It is the first time I have won at Lingfield and I am really happy for the team.”
Pierre-Yves Bureau, racing manager to owners Wertheimer Et Frere, commented: “It was a very nice performance from Funny Kid.
“It’s great for us as it is the first time we have come to Lingfield. It was a late finish but we are happy to get the nose in front!
“We were not sure if we had won or not but he was going nicely throughout the race and it was a good ride by Maxime – a great team job.
“Hopefully, we will come back next year with other horses for other races. It is a very good idea.
“Funny Kid was bred in America and he doesn’t like the heavy ground, so it is great that we can run on this surface as he really enjoys it.”
GEORGE GAINS REVENGE BUT NOT THE WIN
Lord George, who was fourth to Watersmeet last time out at Kempton in February, improved on that run, when just touched off by a nose to Funny Kid (7/2) in the Betway All-Weather Championships Marathon Conditions Race, with 3/1 joint favourite Watersmeet a neck back in third.
Trainer James Fanshawe in Newmarket said of his 10/1 chance: “I am really pleased with him. Obviously, we came home in second which was annoying, but he ran a really good race.
“He has been very consistent on the All-Weather all winter.
“I don’t know what we will do next, he loves the All-Weather, but we might give a go on the turf because he is in such good form.”
Third-placed Watersmeet’s jockey, Joe Fanning, said: “We just got run out of it in the last bit. He hasn’t run a bad race all season. There are no excuses as he has run a good race, it is just a shame he couldn’t get his head in front.”