Graffard runs Erupt in the G1 Pattison Canadian International

Trainer Francis-Henri Graffard, a well-travelled graduate of the inaugural Darley Flying Start programme, will saddle his first horse in Canada when Erupt bursts from the gate in Sunday’s Grade 1 $1-million Pattison Canadian International.
Last July, the Irish-bred colt, a four-year-old son of Dubawi out of Mare Nostrum (Caerleon), provided Graffard with his first Group 1 win when he captured the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp besting such rivals as Ampere, Balios and Storm The Stars.
Sent to post as the fourth choice in a field of six, Erupt made his bid with a quarter mile to run and stayed on strong for a two-length score at 7-1.
“He came into the race unbeaten and confirmed the promise he had shown,” said Graffard. “It was fantastic to see him quicken so well in the straight and this will remain an unforgettable day in my career as a racehorse trainer.”
Although winless in four starts this season, Erupt has kept good company finishing second to Silverware in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud; fifth in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, at Ascot; and most recently third in the Group 2 Lucien Barriere Grand Prix de Deauville.
The 39-year-old conditioner believes that last effort is stronger than it may appear on paper.
“It was a muddling race in terms of pace. That day, he was also carrying more weight than the first two home (Savoir Vivre and Siljan’s Saga) who actually went on to run well in the Arc,” said Graffard, noting Siljan’s Saga excellent fourth-place run behind Found in France’s most famous race.
Erupt was the first of the European contingent to arrive in Canada when he stepped off the plane at Pearson International on Saturday, and he’ll try to be the first horse past the wire on Sunday.  The four-year-old bay is giving every indication he’s ready to blow up the tote board.
“I am very happy with the condition of Erupt. He travelled really well and he appears to be in top form,” said Graffard.
That’s a very good sign for Erupt, and his connections, as the colt readies to make a name for himself in North America.
“The international twelve furlong, grade one programme between now and the end of the year gives horses such as Erupt good opportunities. The Canadian International is ideally placed in the fall calendar,” said Graffard.
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