Graffard aiming for Champions Day with Melo Melo

Francis-Henri Graffard’s Melo Melo is likely to head next for Qipco British Champions Day after her close second to Warm Heart in the Prix Vermeille.

The Gleneagles filly has been tremendously consistent all term, going close in a pair of Listed contests before winning at the grade for the first time when landing the Prix Gold River by three and a half lengths.

She then stepped up sharply to Group Two level in the Prix de Pomone at Deauville last month, defeating stablemate Baiykara by a short neck on heavy ground.

That performance led her into the Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp, a Group One over a mile and half contested by leading fillies such as Christopher Head’s Blue Rose Cen, Joseph O’Brien’s Above The Curve and Aidan O’Brien’s Warm Heart.

There the grey gave the latter horse a real run for her money, striking late under Mickael Barzalona to eat away at the gap between them in the home straight and fall short by just a short neck.

Melo Melo has never run on quick going and has often been seen to good effect on heavy, making her a prime candidate for an autumn campaign as the ground softens.

She is entered in the Prix de Royallieu at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe meeting, but Graffard is favouring the idea of a run in the British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot in late October.

“She came out of her race well, everything is fine with her,” he said.

“She’s improved, this filly has never stopped improving and she showed that.

“She is entered on Arc weekend, but we will probably focus on and go directly for the Fillies & Mares at Ascot.

“She has beaten some nice horses and she is better on softer ground, as you can see, which she will hopefully get at Ascot.”

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