Dion Luciani refers to That’s Funny Az and it’s not hard to understand why he holds affection for the horse.
The four-year-old has emerged as one of Perth’s most improved gallopers this year and is Luciani’s stable flag bearer.
Four of Luciani’s five city wins this season have come courtesy of That’s Funny Az.
Since he was trounced in the Listed Aquanita Stakes (2000m) last July, That’s Funny Az has come back and jumped out of the ground this preparation.
At Ascot last Saturday, the on-pace Snippetson gelding chalked up his fourth consecutive win in the Amelia Park Handicap (1600m)
If not for a third placing when first-up at Bunbury in January, That’s Funny Az would have enjoyed a flawless campaign of racing.
Although in career-best form, Luciani modestly downplays his role in That’s Funny Az’s resurgence.
Instead, he believes all credit must be directed at That’s Funny Az and rival trainer, Lindsey Smith.
“He’s a horse that suffered bad gastric ulcers previously,” Luciani said.
“Aside from that there was nothing else that was holding him back.
“Recovering from illness and the help that Lindsey Smith gave me have been the catalyst for improvement.
“Lindsey has a lot of experience in this area and I leaned on him for a lot of his advice.
“I’ve followed up on what he told me and learnt along the way and it seems to be working really well.”\
“He and the horse deserve to get any of the credit.”
As a $17,000 yearling at the Perth Magic Millions Sale (2018), That’s Funny Az is giving his owners a great ride.
From 20 starts he has won on seven occasions with a further four placings boosting his stake earnings and bonuses to $366.125.
Luciani said That’s Funny Az will attempt to notch his fifth straight win in a fortnight in Listed company.
“He’ll go to the Detonator Stakes (1800m),” Luciani said.
“My only concern is he goes three or four weeks between runs.
“The Detonator Stakes is Saturday week and it’s the first time he races in a fortnight this campaign.
“But you can’t knock him, he’s in great form and seems to be in a really good spot.”