2005 graduate Francis Graffard trained his first G1 winner ‘Erupt’ in the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp. Report by Stuart Riley of the Racing Post below:
THE unbeaten Erupt burst into Arc contention with an explosive display of speed and class, making light work of his five rivals to run out an easy winner of the Grand Prix de Paris and earn a quote of 16-1 with Paddy Power and Betfred for Europe’s richest race over the same course and distance in October.
Stephane Pasquier settled his mount in third and kicked clear turning into the home straight, with the 8-1 winner chased home by the other unbeaten French colt in the field, Andre Fabre’s Ampere, as the home team outclassed British raiders Storm The Stars and Balios on Bastille day.
The Mickael Barzalona-ridden Ampere was short of room for much of the closing stages, but the 7-4 favourite was unable to make any inroads into the two-length lead once clear, but he was able to pull a length and a half clear of the third horse home, second favourite Storm The Stars.
The British challenge had appeared strong, in the shape of Irish Derby runner-up Storm The Stars and Royal Ascot winner Balios, but on a day when France’s biggest bike race went the way of an Anglo invader, it was the home team that triumphed in Paris.
Alan Cooper, racing manager to the owners the Niarchos family, confirmed the Arc as the Francis Graffard-trained three-year-old’s autumn target. On the effect the likely softer ground would have on the son of Dubawi’s chances, he said: “It was pretty fast in Lyon when he won and today it was good, safe ground, but soft ground will help him.”
Ladbrokes cut the winner to 10-1 for the Arc and pushed Storm The Stars out to 6-1 (from 4) for the St Leger.