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The Revenant on course for QEII repeat

Francis Graffard expects The Revenant to prove a tough opponent for Baaeed and Palace Pier when he makes his third successive appearance in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot this month.

Second in 2019, The Revenant lifted the prestigious prize last term – and warmed up for another crack at the Qipco-sponsored event with a big run in defeat at ParisLongchamp on Saturday.

“I’ve been impressed by Baaeed of course, and with Palace Pier in the race again it will be a very strong renewal,” said Graffard.

“On good ground it would be difficult to beat those horses, but on soft ground The Revenant is a Group One horse – and he’ll be fighting.

The Chantilly trainer had mixed feelings after his six-year-old failed by just a short neck to reel in Real World in his bid to land the Prix Daniel Wildenstein for the third year running.

“It would have been fantastic for the horse to win the race three years in a row, so of course I was a little bit upset,” he added.

“But the way he finished showed he is still very competitive at the top level, and so that was the positive side.

“He hadn’t run since May and was probably a little bit rusty. The winner got a start on him. But I was very pleased with him, and he’s come out of the race very well. If all goes well over the next 10 days or so he’ll be back at Ascot for the QEII.”

Graffard is hoping Ascot serves up the soft surface which has often been customary for the October showpiece.

“I ran him in the spring, but he’s not the same horse on fast ground,” he said.

“The autumn is his time of year, and there aren’t too many options, so the QEII was always the aim – provided the ground is suitable.

“Two years ago on his first attempt, he ran a fantastic race to finish second to a good horse, and when we went back last year we were very confident because he had come on a lot for his run at Longchamp.

“He had his ground and he was spot on, and he delivered, which was very good. If he has his ground again he will be ready to defend his title.”

Third Wildenstein win top of The Revenant’s agenda

The Revenant could bid for a record-breaking third Prix Daniel Wildenstein victory, while a Queen Elizabeth II Stakes title defence is also under consideration.

Trainer Francis-Henri Graffard had the gelding entered in the Group Three Prix Quincey at Deauville on Sunday, but the conditions are unlikely to be suitable for the soft-ground specialist and he has not been declared.

The six-year-old has run twice this season, finishing third and fourth in the Group Three Prix Edmond Blanc and the Group Two Prix du Muguet respectively.

A run in ParisLongchamp’s one-mile Prix Daniel Wildenstein is next on the agenda, a race the chestnut won by four and half lengths in 2019 and before following up by a length and a quarter last year.

A shot at a third victory is on the horizon come the first day of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe meeting on October 2, a feat that would make The Revenant the most successful horse in the 139-year history of the race.

“He’s OK, all is well with him,” said Graffard.

“He won’t be running over the weekend because the ground is not soft enough for him.

“We will probably come back and run on Arc weekend (in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein) like last year – the softer the better so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

The Revenant in full flight at Ascot on Champions Day
The Revenant in full flight at Ascot on Champions Day (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

The Revenant has ended his two previous seasons with a run in the QEII, finishing second to King Of Change in 2019 and then going one better when winning the race by a head in 2020 – with Palace Pier back in third.

A return to Berkshire would feature highly in Graffard’s late-season plans should he fare well following his bid for a Longchamp treble.

“Of course it would be great,” he said of the prospect.

“We will see how he is when he comes back from the Prix Wildenstein and then we will decide.”

In Swoop retired due to injury

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runner-up In Swoop has been retired due to injury.

Winner of the German Derby last summer, Francis-Henri Graffard’s charge went on to chase home Mogul in the Grand Prix de Paris before being beaten a neck by Sottsass in Europe’s premier middle-distance contest at ParisLongchamp in October.

The four-year-old had made a pleasing start to the current campaign, winning at Group Three and Group Two level, but could finish in only fourth place when favourite for last month’s Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.

Graffard said: “Basically he suffered a career-ending injury in his last race. It was decided to retire the horse.

“It’s disappointing, of course, as we were looking forward to having another go at the Arc.

“He’s been a very good horse for us, winning the German Derby on just his third career start.”

The trainer provided a more positive update on his star miler The Revenant.

The Dubawi gelding won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot last autumn – and while he was beaten twice in the spring, he is reported to be in rude health following a mid-season break.

“He’s back in full work and we will see him back this autumn,” Graffard added.

“All is good with him. If he’s ready there is a Group Three at Deauville at the end of August that he could run in.

“He likes soft ground and the ground has been soft this summer, but there wouldn’t have been any races for him anyway as he’s a gelding.”

The Revenant steps up for Prix d’Ispahan test at ParisLongchamp

The Revenant warms up for a potential trip to Royal Ascot next month in the Prix d’Ispahan at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

Francis-Henri Graffard’s stable star has made two previous appearances at Ascot – finishing second in the 2019 Queen Elizabeth Stakes before returning to the Berkshire circuit to go one better on Champions Day in October.

The six-year-old has been beaten in his first two starts of this season, but Graffard is hoping for an improved performance on his return to Group One level this weekend ahead of a possible tilt at the Queen Anne Stakes on June 15.

He said: “He’s in good shape. Nine furlongs is a step up in trip for him.

“The ground the other evening was very sticky. Hopefully it does not dry too much – I hope the ground will not be too firm for him.

“The softer the better for him, so we’ll see.

“He’s in very good form and very happy. That (Queen Anne) is an option if the ground is suitable.”

Just over half an hour after The Revenant landed the QEII, Skalleti finished second for France in the Qipco Champion Stakes – finding only the William Haggas-trained Addeybb too strong.

Skalleti (grey) ran a fine race in defeat at Ascot last year
Skalleti (grey) ran a fine race in defeat at Ascot last year (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Skalleti has returned with back-to-back victories this spring and trainer Jerome Reynier is hoping he can complete his hat-trick.

“We’re pretty happy with him. He won the Prix Exbury very well and was back in Paris to win the Prix d’Harcourt,” he said.

“We felt running him in the Ganay a few weeks later was probably too much, so we’ve been kind on him and decided we’d go straight to the d’Ispahan with a bit of freshness.

“The distance is on the short side and the ground will be on the firm side for him, but we can’t really expect much softer ground at this time of the year.

“The race that would have been best for him is the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh, but logistically it was impossible to travel the horse to Ireland with the staff and everything, so we decided we’d stay at home and we’re hoping for the best on Sunday.”

Reynier is already looking forward to a return to Ascot in October, adding: “If we can win one Group One this year, it would be the Champion Stakes back in Ascot at the end of the year on soft ground.

“We’re not sure if we’ll go for the Prix Dollar this year. It’s only two weeks before Ascot, so it’s a tough prep for the horse.

“His target for 2021 is definitely the Champion Stakes – we’ll try to get our revenge on Addeybb.”

Andre Fabre saddles dual Group One winner Victor Ludorum, while British hopes are carried by the Charlie Hills-trained Tilsit and William Haggas’ My Oberon.

Wally (Jean-Claude Rouget) and Ecrivain (Carlos Laffon-Parias) complete the field.

Ground key to The Revenant’s next run

Francis Graffard will be looking for soft ground for The Revenant’s next race following another solid effort on unsuitable conditions.

The Prix d’Ispahan at ParisLongchamp on May 30 or the Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot on June 15 is likely to be the six-year-old’s next port of call if there is enough cut in the ground.

Last season’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner has been burdened with a Group One penalty for both his starts this season, but has not been beaten far despite the going being described as good.

Graffard was pleased with The Revenant’s effort in finishing fourth to Duhail in the Prix du Muguet at Saint-Cloud on Saturday.

“He’s come out of the race well,” said the Chantilly-based trainer.

“He had his Group One penalty and the ground was too fast, but he was in good form and he ran a very good race.

“He’s entered in the Queen Anne and he will be entered in the d’Ispahan, but I think he will be good to have his soft ground wherever he goes.”

The Revenant takes Prix du Muguet test

Impressive Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner The Revenant is back out on Saturday in the Prix du Muguet at Saint-Cloud.

Francis-Henri Graffard’s stable star is running there in preference to the Lockinge at Newbury in a fortnight, with the trainer being put off by the current quick ground in Berkshire and the difficulties of overseas travel due to the pandemic.

He stated earlier this week, however, that The Revenant could still come to Royal Ascot, ground permitting.

The mud-lover concedes 4lb or more to eight rivals, including Jean-Claude Rouget’s Wally, winner of seven of his 11 races.

Andre Fabre fields four in Duhail, Alson, Tropbeau and last year’s French 2000 Guineas winner Victor Ludorum.

However, Fabre fears his Classic victor may need the run. He finished behind Mishriff twice after his Guineas win, but was well behind behind Persian King in the Prix du Moulin on his final start last September.

“He has had a longer winter break than some of mine,” said Fabre.

“He had been suffering with a back problem, we found out. So, he might be a bit short of work for a race like this.

“I’m not quite sure he’s good enough for the best Group Ones, going forward, and I’m not sure that he stays a mile and a quarter.

“I think he will run well and this will just put him right for the Prix d’Ispahan, which will be his next race.”

The Revenant stays at home – for now

The combination of likely fast ground and travel complications mean The Revenant will run closer to home rather than go to Newbury for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes.

Trained by Francis-Henri Graffard, The Revenant won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day in October – having finished second to King Of Change in the corresponding race 12 months earlier.

A real mud lover, the six-year-old is now likely to run at Saint-Cloud on Saturday in the Prix du Muguet.

The Revenant was third on his comeback at Saint-Cloud in a Group Three this month, and Graffard has indicated he will have a Royal Ascot entry.

He said: “Everything is fine with the horse – it is just at the moment the ground is pretty dry everywhere, and it is so complicated to travel for the staff and the jockey

“We have everything against us, so I think we will just stay at home and run on Saturday in the Prix du Muguet.

“He will have an entry in the Queen Anne, but it will depend on things. We know he is very competitive in the autumn. We could save him until then – but on the other hand he is a gelding with very few miles on the clock, so he can run again.

“He will have an entry for (Royal) Ascot, but for the Lockinge it was just too hard to organise everything.”

Another star in Graffard’s stable is last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runner-up In Swoop, who also finished second on his comeback at ParisLongchamp recently.

“I was pleased with that run, because he’s a big horse and he needed the run,” said Graffard.

“He’ll come on for that and he’s going to run in a Group Three at Deauville in a few weeks.

“He’s entered in the Coronation Cup, so we’ll see how he is before that. Hopefully (Grand Prix de) Saint-Cloud can be a target for him this summer (July 4).

“He doesn’t need soft ground – he can go on any ground.”

Monday Musings: Tom and Hollie’s Top Class Show

Many famous men through history have had to accept second place in their relationships with their even more well-known better halves, writes Tony Stafford. Their own celebrity was undoubtedly the reason they first came to the attention of their future partners, none more so than Joe Di Maggio, America’s supreme baseball star of the 1950’s, who had to grow accustomed, once hitched, to being referred to as Mr Marilyn Monroe.

Joe clearly accepted that slight (as it was in those unenlightened days) on his manhood, for why else would he have continued to support the troubled platinum blonde film star through the various subsequent alliances and scandals that stretched all the way to a President of the United States? For Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels, read John F Kennedy and Marilyn, illicit alliances half a century apart.

While entertainment and sport stars have occasionally got together, rarely has it been on such an equal basis as Mr and Mrs Hollie Doyle. Sorry, not quite yet, as although the wonderful Hollie and the equally admirable Tom Marquand are no married couple, they do live together in Hungerford. After Saturday’s exploits where the 20-some pair – Tom is the younger by two years – monopolised Champions Day at Ascot to the tune of four wins, so 67% of the six races, Tom hinted that marriage might be on the horizon.

Halfway through Saturday’s card, the various television outlets were in full Hollie mode. She won the first two races on Trueshan (by miles in the Stayers) and thrillingly by a nose on Glen Shiel (Sprint) before finishing a creditable second on Dame Malliot behind the highly-talented Wonderful Tonight, trained by David Menuisier in the fillies’ and mares’ race. Had the finishing order been reversed you could have imagined Frankie Dettori, already tailed off on Stradivarius in the opener and destined to share in Palace Pier’s first career defeat later on, wondering what was going on. Ascot’s supposed to be his private venue, but sorry Frankie, even Peter Pan had to grow old one day.

As it turned out, Glen Shiel was her final win, but after a brief break in the changing room while Palace Pier was struggling into third behind The Revenant in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, she picked up lesser cheques, for sixth in the Champion Stakes on Extra Elusive for her new boss Imad Sagar, and another second on Sir Michael Stoute’s Solid Stone in the Balmoral Handicap which closed the show.

I’m not sure whether the Marquand/Doyle team pools its earnings. By all accounts they usually sit down to relax after their respective long days, maybe playing a game of cards, watching telly or maybe even examining closely the relative quality of their performances.

At times one or other might be in the ascendant, as Hollie clearly was in the first half of Saturday when the total earnings of her two wins and three minor places added up to a whopping £495,000. Modesty precludes me from checking just what the precise share of that will go to the jockey, but somewhere around seven per cent might not be far wide of the mark.

So Hollie could rightfully say as they shuffled the cards: “Here’s my Group 2 and Group 1, can you match that?”. Well, fortunately, late-starting Tom could indeed counter. “Yes Hollie, here’s my 62 grand for the Balmoral Handicap on Njord, but my Group 1 and the 425k Addeybb won in the Champion Stakes easily matches your day’s work!”

In monetary terms it might just do so, but in the media perception – I still didn’t watch it on ITV, but Sky Sports Racing, who had to share their rightful coverage of Ascot with Racing TV and the national broadcaster - both revelled in Holliemania. It was indeed mostly a one-way street.

In the end, though, it proved to be almost a dead-heat on the earnings front, the final figure arriving at almost exactly £1 million (505 Tom and 495 Hollie); just like their riding styles: tidy, unobtrusive and in each case being in the right place at the right time in just about all their races.

I’ve mentioned Tony Nerses before and there’s no doubt that Imad Sagar’s Racing Manager played a big part in securing Hollie’s services earlier in the year. When the news came it was with a mixture of surprise at the appointment and dread that it might all go pear-shaped, but the tiny Hollie quickly grew into the role. The first Group races soon came, notably on Sagar’s Extra Elusive at Windsor in August, the highlight of her personal five-timer that day. Now she has that first Group 1 on her ever-expanding list of achievements and a record number of winners for a female rider: already pushing 120, that in a truncated year. Which of them will win the championship first? Possibly Hollie, but either will be a credit to the accolade.

There seems no limit to the list of potential employers – if you’re good enough for Sir Michael Stoute, you’re good enough for anyone. At the same time Marquand has seamlessly moved from the guy who happened to be available to partner Addeybb in those two winning Group 1 rides in Australia last winter to now being the go-to man for that well-travelled mudlark’s trainer, William Haggas.

I use the term mudlark advisedly, and there is little doubt that there is no point in turning up on Champions Day if you cannot cope with the soft ground that is almost inevitable in mid-October. That was always the main argument against staging such an important date so late in the year. In a normal mid-October once the European pattern gets through the various Classic schedules of the three major racing nations, there is little scope to go elsewhere. The Irish have their Champions weekend; France and the Arc meeting follows three weeks later, so this is where our big day has to be.

Not that the winners of Saturday’s races are anything but worthy, even if the names John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien, for whatever reason, didn’t manage to collect any first prizes. I was surprised to hear that Gosden was citing the going for Stradivarius’ capitulation in the opening Stayers race. It was the fourth time he’d contested it and he’d won it only once previously. This time he’d gone through the extra exertion of a full preparation for the Arc with a mile and a half run in one of the trials. Gosden’s suggestion that because the Arc had been run at a pedestrian pace it was less demanding than usual seemed surprising.

The biggest surprise, though, in view of his less than outstanding record at this fixture – nowhere near the level of his three Gold Cups there or four Goodwood Cups in high summer – was that he started as short as 11-10.  Trueshan came to the race having won six of ten career starts, including a defeat of smart stayer Withhold in Listed class last time at Salisbury. Runner-up Search For A Star had won the last two renewals of the Irish St Leger for Dermot Weld and third home Fujaira Star had won a Royal Ascot handicap before impressing in a top-class Ebor at York and following home Search For A Star at the Curragh. It was a hot race.

I fully expected Andrew Gemmill to have been at Ascot on Saturday for Trueshan’s win, but he stayed home. Andrew was one of the four original owners – the Singula Partnership- of Trueshan but in May last year they leased the horse to the Barbary Lions 5, a bigger syndicate of 20 in which the quartet also participates. That lease ends at the end of the year according to Andrew and it will be interesting to see whether Alan King will allow this four-year-old gelding to run over hurdles which must have been the original plan. More than likely he’ll be happy to stay on the level and try to win next year’s Gold Cup.

Some spectacular results have been achieved by two of Saturday’s winners, cheaply bought at auction some way into their careers. The Darley-bred Glen Shiel had already raced 11 times in all, once at two, then as a three- and four-year old for Godolphin with Andre Fabre, winning three times. Turning up at the Doncaster May sales as a five-year-old, unraced so far that year, he was bought on behalf of Archie Watson for £45,000 and didn’t see a British racecourse until October. Five runs before the turn of the year didn’t produce a win, but the first of three pre-lockdown appearances did.

On January 8 at Newcastle off a mark of 96 and ridden by Hollie, he won readily. It was not until another five runs later, also at Newcastle in late June that he collected again and that was the start. The son of Pivotal has shown his and his trainer’s ability with a second to Dream Of Dreams in the Haydock Sprint Cup and then by reversing that form while also seeing off perennial Group 1 sprint contender Brando, much to his rider’s evident disbelief.

Marquand was also the beneficiary of an inspired purchase. The four-year-old Njord had started out with Sheila Lavery’s Irish stable, gaining his first win off 63 in May last year. He collected again on October 13 before going to Goff’s sales six days later when BBA Ireland paid 54,000 Euro on behalf of Jessica Harrington. By now on 82, he ran back at Gowran Park only nine days after the sale, winning comfortably. Another win, soon after racing’s resumption in June came off 88 at The Curragh. On Saturday Njord ran away with the highly-competitive Balmoral Handicap and must now be on at least 110, more than three stone higher than where he started.

I highlighted the chance of The Revenant last week in this column and was not at all surprised that he coped with conditions better than Palace Pier when going one better than last year in the QE II. He now has the remarkable figures of 10 wins, two seconds and a third in 13 career starts. In that race, Sir Busker’s alarming tendency to hang left when put under pressure didn’t stop him from finishing fourth, showing that if he had been drawn on the stands side in that most unfair of all Cambridgeshires, he might well have won it. Fourth in this coveted Group 1 and almost £35k will have been satisfactory compensation.

One other horse that we in the UK probably have hardly noticed – I hadn’t! - even after his achievement of splitting Addeyyb and Magical, who was unluckily denied a run at a crucial stage, is Skalleti. This five-year-old, trained in Marseille by the talented Jerome Reynier has a record on a par with The Revenant’s. Even after Saturday’s defeat he has 12 victories from 16 and this autumn has a Deauville Group 3 victory over subsequent Arc winner Sottsass and an easy Prix Dollar victory on Arc weekend on his record.

Preconceptions proved misguided in several cases on Saturday, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that some of the winners weren’t up to standard. They were.

- TS

The Revenant will be back for more next year

Francis-Henri Graffard is looking forward to setting The Revenant further top-level assignments in 2021, following his narrow Queen Elizabeth II Stakes victory at Ascot.

Runner-up to King Of Change in the Group One showpiece 12 months ago, the five-year-old returned on Saturday to go one better on Qipco British Champions Day under Pierre-Charles Boudot.

The Revenant had previously raced just once this season – winning the Prix Daniel Wildenstein at ParisLongchamp a fortnight ago – and Graffard hopes to see his charge in more regular action next season.

“He’s back in his box and very happy – he came out of the race well,” said the French trainer.

“The QEII was the plan since the race last year. Obviously we had to miss a big part of the season, and our patience was rewarded.

“He had a very good comeback in the Wildenstein and came on a lot for the race. He produced a very good performance.

“We will wait until next year now – we won’t travel abroad and will stick to Europe. Hopefully we will be able to run him in the spring and the autumn.

“He has won on good ground, but obviously he can perform at a very high level on soft and heavy.”

The Revenant claims Queen Elizabeth II Stakes gold

The Revenant went one better than 12 months ago with a game display to claim the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

Runner-up to King Of Change in 2019, Francis-Henri Graffard’s mud-loving gelding only made his seasonal debut two weeks ago, when winning the Prix Daniel Wildenstein for a second time.

Given a fine ride by Pierre-Charles Boudit, the 5-1 chance held the persistent challenge of the always-prominent Roseman (28-1) by a head in the Group One over the straight mile, sponsored by Qipco.

Palace Pier, the 8-11 favourite, was only third, three and a quarter lengths away, as John Gosden’s dual Group One winner was beaten for the first time in six starts. He also lost a shoe in the race.

Gosden said: “He pulled a shoe off leaving the gate. He was trying to run the whole race with one shoe off and Frankie (Dettori) said he was not able to change leads and the horse wasn’t able to handle the ground.”

Big smiles from Pierre-Charles Boudot
Big smiles from Pierre-Charles Boudot (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

A delighted Boudot said of the winner: “Today I was very confident with his trainer and the horse did it well on the track.

“He loved the ground and the trip has been perfect behind Circus Maximus. My horse was very relaxed behind him and when I asked him, he gave me a nice and long turn of foot. He has been courageous on the last furlong.

“[He is a] super tough horse. His preparation has been good with the Daniel Wildenstein. He’s courageous and he is just good.”

Graffard targeting Champions Day with The Revenant

Francis-Henri Graffard has his sights set on Qipco Champions Day with The Revenant, while Wooded has not been completely ruled out of the Breeders’ Cup.

The trainer enjoyed an incredible Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend, winning the Prix Daniel Wildenstein and the Prix de l’Abbaye with the aforementioned duo, and came within a neck of winning the big race itself with In Swoop.

While In Swoop is done for the year, there are still big targets ahead for Graffard.

“The Revenant will go to Ascot, that’s the plan, but Wooded won’t go there,” said Graffard.

The Revenant (red) was second to King Of Change in the QEII 12 months ago
The Revenant (red) was second to King Of Change in the QEII 12 months ago (Simon Cooper/PA)

“The Revenant is entered in the QEII (Queen Elizabeth II Stakes) and he’ll have another go – he ran in the race last year and was second.

“We think he will come on a lot for his run on Saturday, he came out of that race well so the plan is to go to Ascot. He should get his ground again, hopefully.”

Wooded reportedly prefers good ground and six furlongs, so to win the Abbaye on heavy was no mean feat.

“We haven’t had a chat about supplementing him for Ascot, so I don’t think we’ll do that,” said Graffard.

“He’s only three, sprinters tend to get better with age.

“He did get a ‘win and you’re in’ entry for the Breeders’ Cup, so we’ll see about if we go or not. At the moment no decision has been made.

“He’s a much better horse on good ground, we know that, so to win on heavy was great.”

In Swoop won the German Derby in July and relished the testing ground, just failing to reel in Sottsass.

In Swoop (black cap) just failed to catch
In Swoop (black cap) just failed to catch Sottsass (AP)

“With In Swoop, I was thrilled with how he ran, but at the same time frustrated he came so close to winning an Arc,” said Graffard.

“He had no excuses. There was no pace in the race and my horse is not a sprinter, so that was not on our side.

“It was a great performance and he proved he was one of the best three-year-olds in Europe.

“He will be a fantastic horse next year. He could possibly go up in trip, but there are some nice races over a mile and a half for him. Until he is not competitive over a mile and a half, we will keep him at that distance.”

Graffard planning ParisLongchamp return for The Revenant

Last year’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes runner-up The Revenant is set to make his long-awaited return to action on Arc weekend at ParisLongchamp next month.

Formerly trained in Britain by Hugo Palmer, the five-year-old won seven of his first eight starts for Francis-Henri Graffard before finding the Richard Hannon-trained King Of Change too strong on Qipco Champions Day at Ascot last October.

The Revenant has not been seen in competitive action since that fine effort, but is closing in on a comeback ahead of a potential second tilt at the QEII on October 17.

Graffard said: “The Revenant is in very good form and the plan is for him to run in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein on Arc weekend.

“We’ll see what the result is there before deciding where we go afterwards.

“We decided we wanted to wait for the softer ground, so we stopped (training) during the lockdown. He has missed half of the year, but that was nothing to do with the horse, but because of the conditions.

“He is in top form and we will be pleased to see him back on the racecourse.”

The Revenant is a best-priced 16-1 with Paddy Power for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, with John Gosden’s unbeaten three-year-old Palace Pier the odds-on favourite.