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Cirrus des Aigles back on course for QIPCO Champion Stakes

20 Sep 2013

Having won the QIPCO Champion Stakes in 2011 and finished runner-up to Frankel in 2012, Cirrus des Aigles could be aimed at the race for a third consecutive year after winning this afternoon for the first time this season.

Cirrus des Aigles wins Ascot’s inaugural QIPCO Champion Stakes in 2011. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

After a bleak year following an injury in Hong Kong last December, Cirrus des Aigles finally got back to winning ways this afternoon when comfortably taking La Coupe de Maisons-Laffitte in Paris.

It was only a Group 3 race against limited opposition, but it was a good step in the right direction after four straight defeats in France and the UK this year.

He will now head for the Prix Dollar at Longchamp on Arc weekend, a race he won in 2010 and 2012 and was beaten in a photo in 2011.

If that goes according to plan, then another crack at the QIPCO Champion Stakes, in which he defeated So You Think and Snow Fairy in 2011 and made Frankel pull out all the stops last year, is very much on the cards.

Today Christophe Soumillon elected to make all the running on the seven-year-old.

He was joined two furlongs out, but asserted inside the final furlong to run out a ready two and a half length winner.

That followed unexpected defeats at Deauville in August and before that two heavy defeats behind Novellist when only fifth in the Grand-Prix de Saint-Cloud in June and fourth in the Betfair King George at Ascot in July.

His trainer, Corine Barande-Barbe, said afterwards: "That confirms what he’s been showing in the mornings, that he’s been getting stronger with each race and in the end he’s won well.

"He’ll go to the Dollar as planned and probably the Champion Stakes after that."