French challengers City Light & Funny Kid set for Good Friday’s £1-million All-Weather Championships

March 23rd, 2018 Fast-Track Qualifier

Two challengers from France are due to line up at Lingfield Park, Surrey, on £1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 30. 

City Light (trainer Stephane Wattel) is being aimed at the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships over six furlongs on Polytrack, while Funny Kid (Christophe Ferland) is an intended runner in the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships over two miles.

City Light qualified for Good Friday when landing the Listed Prix Anabaa, a Fast-Track Qualifier, over an extended six furlongs on Polytrack at Chantilly, France, on March 6.  

The four-year-old Siyouni colt had only run on an All-Weather surface once before that success, when coming home second to Mr Owen over a furlong further in the Listed Prix Luthier on Polytrack at Deauville in December.

Stephane Wattel, who is based close to Deauville at Blonville sur Mer in Normandy, revealed today: “The plan is to run City Light at Lingfield Park on Good Friday. 

“Everything is in order with the horse. He did some light work this morning and he seems very well. I am very happy with him.

“Running on the All-Weather has made a huge difference to this horse. City Light was always a good horse, but was not always the easiest ride for his jockey. He seems to settle much better on the All-Weather. 

“Of course, the draw is going to be important and I will have to have a look at what else is entered tomorrow.”

Funny Kid, a five-year-old Lemon Drop Kid horse, has already made a visit to Britain in 2018, when going down by a neck to Watersmeet in a Fast-Track Qualifier over an extended two miles on Tapeta at Wolverhampton on January 15.  

The Wertheimer Brothers-owned Funny Kid is a three-time All-Weather winner in France, taking an extended mile and a half handicap at Deauville on his penultimate appearance on November 28.

Christophe Ferland, who trains at La Teste-de-Buch in South-West France, said today: “Funny Kid will come over to Lingfield for the Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships on Good Friday. 

“The horse is fit and fresh and everything is in good order with him. He ran very well at Wolverhampton and I think the track at Lingfield will probably suit him better.

“Funny Kid has been a nice horse. He needs good ground when he runs on turf and was a close third in a big handicap at Deauville last summer.  

“He has adapted very well to the All-Weather and it has given us another option with him at this time of year.”

City Light and Funny Kid will be attempting to provide France with further success on All-Weather Championships Finals Day following the victory of Fresles, trained by Pia Brandt, in the 2015 Fillies & Mares Championships.

Entries for the six championship races on Good Friday, plus the £50,000 Sunbets All-Weather Championships Apprentice Handicap, will be revealed tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, March 24. 

The All-Weather Championships, staged for the fifth time, have always been keen on attracting overseas runners.

A total of three of the 24 Fast-Track Qualifiers, run between October and this month, have taken place in France, with two others in Ireland.