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International superstars post facile victories

29 Apr 2012

Middle distance star Cirrus Des Aigles and world champion sprinter Black Caviar post awesome performances at home as they gear up for raids on the 2012 QIPCO British Champions Series.

Cirrus des Aigles trounces his rivals in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp by eight lengths in the hands of Olivier Peslier. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

French middle distance star Cirrus des Aigles, ridden by Olivier Peslier, hammered his rivals in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp this afternoon to confirm what we already knew – he will be a massive force to be reckoned with in any race he contests this season.

Clearly a dramatically improved horse in the last year despite now being six years of age, Cirrus des Aigles was following up his brilliant victories in the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot last October – a performance which gained him the joint third highest rating in the world last year behind Frankel and Black Caviar – and in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan last month.

Today’s victory was bloodless. In front soon after the start, he almost effortlessly drew clearly of his toiling rivals in the straight to win by eight lengths from Giofra and last year’s French Derby winner, Reliable Man. Remarkably it was his first taste of Group 1 glory in France.

His delighted trainer, Corine Barande-Barbe, said after the race: "We are very proud of him – he is a magic horse.

"We have been waiting for that (first Group 1 in France) for a long time and he won so easily.

"Olivier gave him a very good ride. Now the horse knows more about racing, you can just let him do what he wants.

"It was a fantastic performance and we are all delighted."

"We will consider what to do next. There is the Coronation Cup, Royal Ascot, the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and Singapore to consider.

"He has not had a hard race today and we will make a decision about the next place to go with him.

"It would be great to go back to Ascot at the end of the season for the Champion Stakes again."

The Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom on 2 June and the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on 20 June are the first and third Middle Distance races in the QIPCO British Champions Series, with the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot on 20 October the last.

What a mouthwatering prospect it will be if – indeed probably when – Cirrus des Aigles meets Frankel. The French gelding will give the world’s highest-rated racehorse a thorough test, that is for sure!

Meanwhile the world’s second highest-rated horse, Australian wonder mare Black Caviar, recorded the 20th victory in her glittering, unbeaten career yesterday, breaking the previous Australasian record of 19 straight wins.

She barely knew she had had a race, sauntering home to an easy success in the Sportingbet Classic at Morphettville in the hands of regular jockey, Luke Nolen.

Her trainer, Peter Moody, said: "Happy days, it was another tremendous display.

"She was in fabulous shape and it’s great to see so many people here to support her. I was always happy where she was and never had too many worries.

"It’s unbelievable how she copes with it all. Most sprinters get wound-up but she’s so laid back and takes it all in her stride. She’s a remarkable horse."

She may have one more race in Australia before she leaves the country for the first time, but her big target of the year is now well and truly on the horizon – the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday 23 June, the third QIPCO British Champoions Series sprint race.