TRAINER Rob Wellington's fears Funky Farm could be one run short were allayed after he scored a hard-fought win at Wagga on Thursday.
In a driving finish, Funky Farm prevailed first-up from a spell to score in the $12,000 Benchmark 58 Hcp, (1050m) with Nick Souquet aboard.
Less than a neck separated Funky Farm ($5.50), Kentucky Wildcat ($2.50-fav) and Benno's Boy ($3.10).
Wellington said the victory was an unexpected bonus.
"I went to the races thinking he could be a little bit soft," Wellington said.
"He had to travel three-wide for most of the run but gave a nice kick on the line and got the job done.
"It was a fantastic result and I suppose that is the bonus of having Nick Souquet aboard when there is a driving finish.
"Nick has been riding a bit of trackwork for us so it was great to be able to repay the favour."
IN OTHER NEWS
Funky Farm was resuming from a 10-week spell and had only previously won once first-up from five attempts.
"Traditionally his first two runs in a preparation are his best efforts," he said.
"He hadn't had a barrier trial before today so I thought he may have been short of a run.
"He has a habit of bobbing-up at big odds and I was a little bit surprised he was so short in the market.
"I thought Benno's Boy would be hard to beat after just getting beat at Albury last start."
Meanwhile the Andrew Dale-trained Parliament made it back-to-back wins in the $12,000 Young Cup, (1660m).
The $1.30-favourite was ridden by Tyler Schiller.