Francis Graffard

Verry Elleegant To Run On QIPCO British Champions Day

G1 Melbourne Cup heroine Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed {NZ}) will run in the G1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares S. at Ascot on Oct. 15, trainer Francis-Henri Graffard revealed on Tuesday. She will be part of a two-pronged attack in that race for the trainer on QIPCO British Champions Day alongside G1 Prix Vermeille winner Sweet Lady (Fr) (Lope De Vega {Ire}). Unplaced in the G1 Prix Jean Romanet to start her European campaign, the 11-time Group 1 winne ran third in the G2 Prix Foy, and was most...

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Verry Elleegant To Miss Prix Rothschild

Australian super mare Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed {NZ}) will miss Tuesday's G1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville and will be aimed instead at the G1 Prix Jean Romanet over 2,000 metres later in the month. In a statement on Twitter on Friday morning, her trainer Francis Graffard said, "Following her last bit of serious work yesterday we have decided not to declare Verry Elleegant for the G1 Prix Rothschild on Tuesday, 2 August. She is telling us that she needs a bit more time and, having discussed it with her owners,...

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Seven Days: Jubilation

With Britain en fete in the midst of the Platinum Jubilee festivities, the Oaks and Derby fell slap-bang in the middle of a four-day bank holiday and, despite the absence of Her Majesty the Queen at Epsom, the meeting still offered much cause for celebration. Sir Michael Stoute is never one to blow his own horn, though he is often heard humming on Newmarket Heath while watching his horses work. And as one of British racing's senior trainers, on the royal roster to boot, he was a most fitting winning...

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McGivern Optimistic as Speedy Fillies Catch Attention at Arqana

DEAUVILLE, France--Deliverance came a day early for Katie McGivern at the Arqana Breeze-Up Sale as lot 64, a Sioux Nation filly and lot 66, a filly by Siyouni (Fr), finished in the top five fastest times overall in the session. It was McGivern's fillies, the only two that she brought to one of the premier breeze-up sales in Europe, who emerged from the cavalry of 130 juveniles as being up there with the fastest on show. McGivern stuck her neck out in going to €68,000 for the Siyouni filly out...

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Verry Elleegant Joins Graffard for Euro Campaign

G1 Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed {NZ}) will join Francis Graffard in France with a view towards targeting the major races in Europe this season, the connections of the Australian ace have announced. An 11-time Group 1 winner, Verry Elleegant has netted her connections over £8 million and was described by Chris Waller, the man who managed her glittering career in Australia, as an "honour" to be associated with. The statement from the ownership group was released on Thursday, and it read, "Being part of a champion racehorse...

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Seven Days: On The Classic Trail

It wouldn't be Craven week without a brisk wind blasting across Newmarket Heath, but for those of you considering spending afternoons paddock-side perusing the physical merits of some of this year's Classic contenders, the encouraging news is that the temperature is rising in East Anglia this week, along with the quality of action on the turf. France and Ireland are ahead of Britain on the Classic trials front, and there is plenty to reflect upon in that regard, but a brief look ahead to the Newmarket and Newbury trials this...

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Sealiway Joins Graffard

G1 Champion S. winner Sealiway (Fr) (Galiway {GB}), whose trainer Cedric Rossi was indicted by French police last week for equine doping and fraud, will join trainer Francis Graffard. Sealiway is among 200 horses on their way to new yards after Rossi and family members Charley and Frederic Rossi and Jessica Marcialis, as well as a stable manager and veterinarian, were forbidden by police to participate in racing or be on the grounds of a racetrack or training centre during the indictment, which could last as long as a year....

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Burgarita Poised For Diane Challenge

Chantilly on Sunday is the place to be, with the customary high fashion and regalia accompanying a fascinating card featuring the G1 Prix de Diane Longines. As usual, Andre Fabre is the first port of call and it seems at present that his unbeaten Burgarita (GB) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) could be the one to start favourite in a wide-open edition, having impressed with two performances at ParisLongchamp. In the first, Ecurie Ama Zingteam's relative of the 2001 Diane heroine Aquarelliste (Fr) (Danehill) beat the re-opposing Khalidiya (Fr) (Oasis Dream...

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The Revenant To Stay Home

Last year's G1 Queen Elizabeth S. winner The Revenant (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), who was third on seasonal debut in the G3 Prix Edmond Blanc on Apr. 3, will stay in France for Saturday's G2 Prix du Muguet rather than crossing the English Channel for the G1 Lockinge S. on May 15 on account of the complications of travel during the pandemic. "Everything is fine with the horse, it is just at the moment the ground is pretty dry everywhere, and it is so complicated to travel for the staff and...

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Moment of 2020: In Swoop

In Moment of 2020, the staff of TDN Europe reflect on their favourite moments in racing for the year. In 2019, both Gestut Schlenderhan and the Deutsches Derby celebrated 150th anniversaries. Schlenderhan, Germany's oldest Thoroughbred stud farm, has enjoyed much success throughout the world and is the leading owner when it comes to its home Derby. That record was extended this year when In Swoop (Ger) became the 19th winner of the race to be owned and bred by the Von Ullmann family, a result made all the sweeter by...

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Dual Group 1 Winner Watch Me Retired

Alexander Tamagni and Regula Vannod's Watch Me (Fr) (Olympic Glory {Ire}), who last weekend added a victory in the G1 Prix Rothschild to her G1 Coronation S. score last year, has been retired. The news was first reported by Jour de Galop. "I wasn't completely happy with how she came out of the [Rothschild]," said trainer Francis Graffard. "We spoke to the owners and we decided together that we should respect the filly [by retiring her]. It was a good way for her to finish--she proved she's a very good...

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Fabre Favourites Stand Ground For French Guineas

Eleven runners remain in the potential line-up for the G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains and 16 for the G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, both of which are to be run on Monday at Deauville. With French racing remaining restricted to domestic runners until mid-June, all foreign-trained horses have been removed from the initial list of entries. A notable domestic defector among the colts is the G1 Prix Morny and G1 Middle Park S. winner Earthlight (Ire) (Shamardal), who was scratched from his intended comeback run in the G3 Prix de...

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