Graffard has the talent to join the legends

Channel (left) holds off Commes (red cap) and the fast-finishing Grand Glory (yellow cap, right) to win the Prix de Diane Longines. Photo: John Gilmore

The biggest race in the world last week, the G1 Prix de Diane Longines at Chantilly on Sunday, may have ended in a blanket finish but it highlighted a growing talent among France’s training ranks.



A total of eight trainers with Modal Country ‘France’ (majority of their runs there) currently rank in the TRC Global top 100. These are shown in the table:

It is certainly not rash to predict that one day FRANCIS-HENRI GRAFFARD (+4pts, #68 from #76) will be top of the pile. That day isn’t immediately on the horizon, given some of the legendary names among the four we currently rate above him in the rankings, but Graffard is building. And, most importantly, it is already for certain that he has the skill.

Channel’s win in the G1 Prix de Diane Longines at Chantilly, the race referred to commonly as the ‘French Oaks’ was a masterful piece of conditioning. A former breeze-up horse, Channel was not the best-looking filly in Sunday’s race, neither was she the most experienced. Indeed, it seemed a sizeable task to even be involved in the business end, given that the Diane was her first Group race.

But Graffard knew what he had on his hands. Stepping up from a conditions race over the same course and distance, she might have leveraged that course knowledge to good effect. We must also credit jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot for a sound tactical ride, sitting close to the pace and going on approaching the final furlong.

The 20 Group or Graded races that have counted towards Graffard’s ranking are given in the table in reverse chronological order. These have come in four different countries – a very good sign. The highlight prior to Sunday was undoubtedly the G1 Canadian International of 2016 with Erupt.

Full trainer standings here

Click here for a list of all last week’s biggest TRC Global Rankings points gainers

Click here for a list of all the week’s Group and Graded winners

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