Graffard Plotting Leger Route


Sumbal | Scoop Dyga

Although losing his unbeaten record when a close fifth in the G1 Prix Du Jockey Club at Chantilly in May, Sumbal (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) remains on track for a shot at another Classic next month. His trainer Francis-Henri Graffard is training the 3-year-old Qatar Racing-owned colt with the G1 St. Leger at Doncaster firmly in mind.

“Sumbal is coming along nicely and is under consideration for the St. Leger,” said Graffard. “He needed a little break after the French Derby, but is very well at the moment. He was always a horse I was looking towards the autumn with and hopefully he will be competitive wherever he runs.”

Unraced as a juvenile Sumbal came into the French Derby on the back of a win in the G2 Prix Greffulhe and was beaten less than five lengths in the Classic by New Bay (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}). Outlining a troubled trip at Chantilly Graffard noted, “He is a big horse who needs to be well balanced before producing his acceleration and unfortunately he had to change line twice in the straight during the French Derby. I think with an uninterrupted run he would have finished in the first three and, although I was a bit disappointed at the time, he didn't disgrace himself.”

Though untried beyond 10 1/2 furlongs, Graffard is not concerned with the 14-furlong distance of the St. Leger.

“I would not be scared of stepping up in trip in the St. Leger because he is a big galloper,” Graffard explained. “He has a big stride and settles and travels nicely behind horses. He has won left-handed a couple of times and there is a long straight at Doncaster, so it is hard to be boxed in there. I think the race should suit him.”


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