Jason Ward in dreamland after Maifalki gives him first Listed success at Craon
Middleham-based trainer Jason Ward was in "dreamland" on Monday after Maifalki gave him his first Listed success on his maiden voyage to France by winning the Prix Dirickx – Grand Prix de la Ville de Craon-Mayenne at Craon.
The five-year-old was the second runner of Ward's two-horse raiding party. His other representative Wee Jim finished fifth in a Listed juvenile event on Saturday.
Ward said: "I am in dreamland. I've had a Group-placed horse and others placed at meetings like Glorious Goodwood but it is fantastic to have a Listed winner.
"We were a bit disappointed after Wee Jim was only fifth on Saturday – he was the one I really fancied but he missed the break and then ran on and wasn't beaten far in the end.
"Maifalki got a great ride from Alexis Badel and, though he only got up close home to win by a head, I thought from the furlong pole he was going to get there. In another half-furlong he'd have won by a couple of lengths.
"It was a great race for him to win as he not only took the first prize, as a French-bred he received a 30 per cent bonus, so he has won £36,000 for his owners Lamont Racing.
"It took us two days to get here – we stayed overnight in Deauville – but it has been well worth it. It's a great meeting, it is called the Trois Glorieuse (Three Glories). They race over three days and must have had a crowd of 10-15,000 here each day. I would love to come back.
"Maifalki will now go for a staying race at Saint-Cloud and maybe after that we will sell him. We train our horses with an eye to selling them on and he should make somebody a nice jumper or perhaps the Australians might be interested in him."
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