Back to articles

Cirrus Des Aigles targets QIPCO Champion Stakes

7 Sep 2011

Improving French star, deeply impressive winner of his last two starts at Deauville, could make a serious impact in a race in which cross-channel raiders have a good recent record.

Cirrus Des Aigles wins last year’s Prix Dollar at Longchamp, a race he will be contesting again before heading to Ascot.  Image courtesy of

The fast improving French-trained five-year-old, Cirrus Des Aigles, is being lined up for an assault on Britain’s richest ever race, the £1.3m QIPCO Champion Stakes, highlight of the QIPCO British Champions Day card at Ascot on Saturday 15 October.

Having given Goldikova a fright in the Prix D’Ispahan over nine furlongs at Longchamp in May, the Corine Barande-Barbe-trained gelding has demolished his rivals in two recent races at Deauville, winning those Group 2 and Group 3 contests by an aggregate of 18 lengths.

"All is going very well for Cirrus des Aigles,” said Barande-Barbe.

“As usual after a race he has been walking in the forest at Chantilly and he’s now started cantering again. The horse seems so happy. He recovered quickly after the Grand Prix de Deauville as he didn’t have much to do.

“The plan now is to win another Prix Dollar (at Longchamp on 1 October) and then the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

“He goes on all ground but maybe soft is better as other horses don’t always act on it.

“A right handed track is perfect as is any distance from 2,000 (1m 2f) to 2,500 (1m 4 1/2f) metres. What we would like is a true pace, but he can make his own running if necessary.

“My only other runner in England has been at Ascot. In 1999, I saddled Perfect Vintage for the Queen Anne Stakes and he ran fifth to Cape Cross."

The French have a great recent record in the Champion Stakes when it was run at its old home, Newmarket.

Pride (2006) and Literato (2007) struck for cross-channel raiders, while Vision D’Etat was second to Twice Over last year.

To book tickets for QIPCO British Champions Day and take advantage of a 10% advance booking discount, CLICK HERE.