Francis-Henri Graffard is currently enjoying a strike rate of over 40% and says that for some of his horses, lockdown was the best thing that could have happened to them, as it gave them that extra bit of time to develop.
While his classic winner Channel has been retired to stud, he is enjoying the next generation of three-year-olds and is also looking forward to seeing stable star The Revenant, who was the runner-up in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot at the end of last year, return to action later in the season.
“When we came out of lockdown the amended programme didn’t suit The Revenant and I didn’t want to run him on fast ground,” says Graffard.
“We know he is going to be a good horse this autumn, so we decided to give him a break. And we did well, as the first Group at Chantilly was run on very fast ground, which is not his cup of tea. We will see him from August on though.”
The former graduate of the Godolphin Flying Start programme, who started training in Chantilly in 2011, has a lot to look forward to, as he received some exciting two-year-olds from HH Aga Khan and from Prince Khalid Abdullah for the first time in his career.
At the moment, he is still keeping lid on them but there are plenty of other horses to follow, many of them he is hoping to bring to Royal Ascot, Government rules permitting.
Here, Francis-Henri Graffard gives Liz Price of attheraces.com the lowdown on his team.