where the horse is always the hero
Article Item
Posted 2021-09-17 10:55:41  
Grafford To Succeed De Royer-Dupre as Aga Khan Trainer

Francis Graffard has described his new role as principal trainer in France to the Aga Khan as "a huge honor," following the announcement he will take over from the retiring Alain de Royer-Dupre at the end of 2021.

Graffard will take care of the horses at the Aga Khan's private training base at Aiglemont in Chantilly, although he will continue to operate his own stable in addition, just as Royer-Dupre did throughout his tenure.

Graffard, who officially begins his new role on Jan. 1, said: "It's a huge honor for me, and I'm excited and motivated by this new challenge."

A graduate from the inaugural Godolphin Flying Start course, Graffard spent four years at the Darley racing office before becoming assistant to Royer-Dupre in 2008.

Next month will mark a decade since he took out a license in October 2011, with his first winner following shortly after in January 2012.

The 44-year-old has made rapid strides towards the top of the French training establishment, landing a first group 1 in the 2015 Grand Prix de Paris with Erupt, since when he has saddled Bateel, Channel, Watch Me, In Swoop, Wooded, and The Revenant to score at the highest level.

Graffard was sent his first Aga Khan-bred yearlings in 2019 and will take over from Royer-Dupre, who started training for the Aga Khan in the French provinces before taking over at Aiglemont from Francois Mathet upon his death in 1983.

Since then, Royer-Dupre has won 77 group 1 races for the Aga Khan, headlined by the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe wins of Dalakhani in 2003 and the outstanding and unbeaten Zarkava five years later.

His haul during 38 years at Aiglemont has also featured seven Poules d'Essais (G1) and Prix Vermeilles (G1), six victories in the Prix de Diane (G1) and Prix Saint-Alary (G1), and five in the Prix du Jockey Club (G1).

Long-standing allies Jean-Claude Rouget and Mikel Delzangles will also continue to train for the Aga Khan.

Racing Post 

Email link to a friend | Printable Version
  • Europe
    Displaying 10 ResultsSee All
    secret power takes turkish derby 2022-06-28

    Secret Power Becomes the Champion Thoroughbred of 2022 Gazi Derby (G1), being organized uninterrupt...

    View | Add Comment
    top german stud to cease operations 2022-03-31

    According to German website, galopponline, "The Ammerland Stud and the Bernried Stud, will no l...

    View | Add Comment
    darley stud fees announced 2021-11-09

    2022 fees for Darley’s European stallions have been released to breeders via the MyDarley feat...

    View | Add Comment
    shock arc winner has bookies celebrating 2021-10-03

    Torquator Tasso sprang a huge surprise with victory for Germany in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomp...

    View | Add Comment
    100th arc is a star studded line up 2021-10-01

    The magic of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe has rarely been more radiant, with Sunday's 100th running...

    View | Add Comment
    pace the challenge for arc says appleby2021-09-30

    Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby was pleased when Hurricane Lane drew two and Adayar 11 after the t...

    View | Add Comment
    st marks basilica retires2021-09-27

    Aidan O’Brien hailed St Mark’s Basilica as “possibly the best horse we have ever h...

    View | Add Comment
    arc field taking shape as stars set to be supplemented 2021-09-27

    There were no major surprises among the withdrawals at Monday's first forfeit stage for a glittering...

    View | Add Comment
    french jocks banned for another six months 2021-08-13

    Pierre-Charles Boudot has been suspended from riding for a further six months by France Galop due to...

    View | Add Comment
    star us raider aims at europe 2021-08-05

    US raider Campanelle adds a fascinating extra dimension to what looks like being one of the best spr...

    View | Add Comment