Equestrianism: Funnell's success

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WILLIAM FUNNELL, on Comex, won the Silk Cut Trophy after going last in an 11-horse jump-off at Hickstead yesterday, writes Mary Gordon Watson.

Funnell, from Surrey, was a popular winner but he revealed that the loud cheers from supporters were probably due to some successful betting on him at 20-1. He also admitted to having pounds 10 each way, but when he was told it was unlucky to back yourself, he passed the bet on to Duncan Inglis who will be his best man when Funnell marries the top eventing rider Pippa Nolan in October.

The nine-year old Comtex will not jump into today's Derby. Earlier, Funnell was also the highest placed British rider when he finished fifth in the Silk Cut Speed Derby which was dominated by Ireland. Captain John Ledingham broke the course record by nearly five seconds with an outstanding exhibition of jumping at speed on Castlepollard, who was winning his first international class.