Charlie Appleby’s Frontiersman was beaten on his All-Weather debut at Wolverhampton on Monday night.
The Group 1-placed five-year-old went off as the favourite in the Betway Live Casino Conditions Race, which was a Fast Track Qualifier for the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships at Lingfield Park on Good Friday.
However, the son of Dubawi could only muster a third-placed finish behind eventual winner Watersmeet — trained by Mark Johnston — and Funny Kid.
Funny Kid — Maxime Guyon’s first mount at Wolverhampton — raced in fifth towards the outside and quickly came through to challenge Watersmeet and drew level with the winner just inside the final furlong.
But Watersmeet was not for passing and rallied gamely to triumph by a neck at the line, with a length and three-quarters back to Frontiersman, who tried to reel in the front two but threw away his chance by hanging left inside the final furlong.
It was Frontiersman’s first outing since finishing sixth in the Worthington’s Indigo Leisure Stakes at Newbury in October last year.
Speaking before the race, Moulton Paddocks-based Appleby indicated that a trip to Dubai could be next on the agenda for Godolphin’s Investec Coronation Cup runner-up.
Further Newmarket interest in the race at Wolverhampton was provided by David Simcock’s Curbyourenthusiasm and the Gay Kelleway-trained Vettori Rules, but they were never in contention and ended up finishing in ninth and 11th position respectively.