Graffard has high hopes for Watch Me

Trainer targeting more Group One glory.

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Francis-Henri Graffard is looking forward to the four-year-old career of Royal Ascot heroine Watch Me.

The daughter of Olympic Glory enjoyed her finest hour to date when beating dual 1000 Guineas winner Hermosa in the Coronation Stakes at the showpiece meeting, before finishing fourth in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.

She ended the year with a fine run in third when stepped up to a mile and a quarter in the Prix de l’Opera on Arc day, beaten just a length having not enjoyed the best of luck in running.

Her Chantilly-based trainer said: “She came back at the beginning of the year. She is cantering now and is looking better and better, but it will be June/July time, not before – probably July for a fillies’ Group One, a fillies’ Group one over eight to 10 furlongs in the summer.

“She has run twice at Longchamp and twice she has been unlucky, which is a shame, but in the Opera she showed she stayed 10 furlongs and that is why the owner was keen to keep her in training.

“She can have a nice season and hopefully win another Group One. We will see.”

Graffard will also have The Revenant for big-race targets this year, although that will be later in the campaign after changes made to the French calendar in anticipation of the sport hopefully resuming in France on May 11, subject to Government approval.

The five-year-old – who thrives on soft ground – has been beaten just twice since joining Graffard from Hugo Palmer, and was last seen chasing home King Of Change in the QEII at Ascot on Champions Day.

Graffard said: “If racing resumes, the problem we have is that in the new programme the mile races for older horses have been completely postponed until the end of June.

“So The Revenant has gone on his holidays, because he has absolutely no races and is not a horse for very firm ground in the summer, so we will see him back probably in August and an autumn campaign.

“It is a shame as he was in top form, but we will see him in the autumn. He was ready for a good spring, but everything was stopped. As I said, with the programme we have his races were completely postponed, so we decided with the owner to just look after him.”

On the possibility of trying The Revenant over a mile and a quarter at some stage, Graffard said: “I don’t see any point in stepping him up in trip at the moment because he is so efficient over a mile.

“Hopefully we have more races in the autumn and we will see what we do, if we have a programme for a miler we will stick to a mile.”

He added: “We’re fine here, just bored! But everyone is safe in the yard, the staff are in great form and everything is fine, we just need to get going. Fingers crossed.”

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