Horse Race Predictions

Francis-Henri Graffard, the trainer, slammed the French authorities after he felt compelled to rule superstar international challenger Verry Elleegant out of Sunday’s €5 million Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Despite being moved to Graffard specifically for a shot at the Arc, the seven-year-participation old’s was jeopardised when she was ranked among the lowest-rated of the 24 entries made for the big race at Longchamp. France Galop later confirmed that it would stick to a maximum field of 20.

Even after being a nine-time Group 1 winner in Australia, Verry Elleegant was given an official French rating of 113, and a run in the Arc required the withdrawal of two horses. Since no horses above her on the list were scratched on Wednesday, connections decided against supplementing her in the expectation that she would not run.

Horses cannot be declared for two races at the same time in France. Verry Elleegant has been declared for Saturday’s Qatar Prix de Royallieu, in which Mark Zahara is set to ride, in order to ensure a run on French racing’s biggest weekend.

The Qatar Prix de Royallieu has been declared for Verry Elleegant, the star Australian mare.

Her trainer was angry about the situation and fears it may deter foreign challengers in France’s flagship races in the future.

Graffard said: “The planets really haven’t aligned for us with the Arc being a 72-hour declaration. It’s a very bad situation for French racing. The French authorities have put us in a very bad situation and I’m ashamed by their reaction and the way they have treated my owners and this mare from the day she arrived in France.

“I’m sure this will cost horses being sent to France by foreign owners in the future.

“We had to make a choice otherwise she would end up getting no run in the Arc or the Royallieu. At 11.30am I could see nothing had come out of the Arc so we had to keep her in the Royallieu.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *