Fraincis-Henri Graffard-trained Chantilly concluded a successful fairytale week as Watch Me sprinted a 20-1 shot surprise during the Coronation Stakes after giving Chanel its first-ever French Classic triumph in the Prix de Diane on Sunday.
Graffard admitted without inhibitions that he is living his dream while victorious rider Pierre-Charles Boudot subtly claimed that he was a lucky boy.
Watch Me was almost a forgotten filly during the Group One which was featured on the Royal Ascot’s fourth day after landing sixth in the French 1000 Guineas just behind Castle Lady – but she did not have any luck during that very same day.
The filly did not only comprehensively turn the tables against their opponents, but she was also too excellent for the English and Irish 1000 Guineas heroine, Hermosa.
Graffard who has been training for almost eight years now commented that it is the week they are dreaming for. He shared last Sunday that when he gets up every morning, he is thankful for the job he has and the level he is in at the moment.
He set up at Chantilly for he wanted to run in Classics. He is excited to dominate big races and he did on Sunday. It was a big day for him as a Frenchman in France.
“I was confident again. I had trust in my filly. She worked very well. I felt we had to put the run in the Guineas behind us.” The game proved it all.
Graffard added that the horse traveled nicely and quickened very nicely to win as well. But, he will watch her race again for she took the lead quite early and she never stopped.
“To be fair, Olivier Peslier after the French 1000 Guineas said to me ‘run her in the Diane because she will stay – and she will win the Diane.”
But, the trainer could not forget their bad luck in the race which was why he didn’t change everything – the filly would still come to Ascot.
The result will provide Graffard happier issues that need solving.
He even said that everything went against her in the French Guineas. He had been in the industry since 2011. Having winners isn’t new to him. However, the filly is just too special for him and he is proud of it.
“I don’t know what we’ll do with her. I didn’t enter her in the Falmouth (at Newmarket) – we had to see how she did today.”
The trainer mentioned that the filly has Rothschild in the summer. They are still yet to see how she will come out in the race very soon.
Boudot is about to face another milestone in his burgeoning career, and he surely felt at home after seeing a party of supporters who waved their French flags which were almost like a celebration in the race.
The 26-year-old became a champion jockey in France way back in 2015. He saddled a European record of 300 victories after taking the title outright from the match in 2016.
When interviewed, he shared that his achievements happened because he put a ton of hard work on his games and he has good horses to include in matches. It can be remembered that his previous Royal Ascot champion was on Le Brivido in the Jersey Stakes almost two years ago.
This season has been brilliant looking at the Classic wins on Persian King during the French 2000 Guineas and Channel directly at the French Oaks – but dominating the Royal meeting is never the same for most of them.
“Winning a Group One race at Royal Ascot is very important for a jockey, and for everybody who worked for this horse.”
The jockey is a lucky boy for Royal Ascot is the best place in the world for racing.
Thus, the trainer concluded: “It’s been the perfect year.”