Best Aga Khan horses trained by Francis-Henri Graffard

  • 2022
    • BAIYKARA / Prix de Royaumont (GR III)
    • EREVANN / Prix Paul de Moussac (GR III)

TRAINERS

Francis-Henri Graffard

Training licence since 2011

Based in Chantilly, France

From an early age, Francis dreamed of becoming a trainer, but he completed his education and studied law before turning to racing professionally. Experiences with Goffs France and a range of bloodstock professionals preceded a pivotal development in his career, his acceptance onto the inaugural edition of the Godolphin Flying Start course. The internationally-renowned program took Francis to Ireland, Great Britain, USA, Australia and Dubai, and he devoted his internships to gaining experience with some of the world’s leading trainers, Gai Waterhouse, Eoin Harty and André Fabre. Following graduation from the two-year course, the natural step for Francis was to join the Darley Racing Office in Newmarket, as English and French representative. This position involved liaising with Godolphin trainers such as André Fabre, John Gosden, Mark Johnston and Alex Pantall. After four years in this role, Francis returned to Chantilly where he joined the Aga Khan Studs principal French handler Alain de Royer Dupré as assistant trainer for his private yard. During this period, the famous green and red silks were carried to victory notably by Siyouni (Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère) and Sarafina (Prix de Diane). Francis Graffard was granted his trainers license in October 2011 and the stable’s first winner was quick to follow, in January 2012. In June of that year, Francis saddled his first Stakes winner as Pearl Flute lifted the Listed Prix Yacowlef at Deauville. A first Group 1 victory came just three years later, thanks to the Niarchos Family’s Erupt who scored in the Grand Prix de Paris, and Erupt was also the author of a first international top-level success for the stable when securing the Canadian International in 2016. The following season, Bateel provided her handler with an emotional win in the Prix Vermeille, over sixty years after the success of his grandfather’s Wild Miss in this prestigious contest. Two fillies provided Francis Graffard with a memorable season in 2019. Channel offered the handler his first taste of Classic glory in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly, and just days later, Watch Me was successful in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. Francis Graffard received his first Aga Khan Studs yearlings in 2019.


SEE ALSO

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      A career as a trainer was always on the cards for Dermot Weld. His father Charlie has established Rosewell House, on the Curragh, as a highly successful yard before handing over the reins to his 24-year-old son.
    • Johnny Murtagh
      Johnny Murtagh started his racing career as a jockey on the Curragh in 1987, going on to be five-time Champion Jockey in Ireland. He began training at Fox Covert Stables in Kildare in 2013.
    • Mikel Delzangles
      Mikel Delzangles was born in Biarritz, Southwest of France, in 1971. His parents were not involved in the racing industry yet his godmother is the Marquesa Sol de Moratalla, a major owner-breeder in France and Great Britain.
    • Jean-Claude Rouget
      Jean-Claude Rouget was born in 1953 in Normandy, a stone throw from Haras de Saint-Pair du Mont which was managed by his father Claude.
    • Alain de Royer Dupré
      Summing up Alain de Royer Dupré’s career with a handful of landmark victories or horses names is virtually impossible, yet certain figures help grasping just how awesome it has been so far...
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