Cirrus des Aigles back with a bang!
6 Oct 2013
After easily winning the Prix Dollar at Longchamp yesterday for the third time in four years, France's star is coming back to form at just the right time and is now all set for another crack at the QIPCO Champion Stakes a week on Saturday.
Christophe Soumillon takes a long round as he eases to victory on Cirrus des Aigles in the Prix Dollar at Longchamp yesterday. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.
Cirrus des Aigles won the QIPCO Champion Stakes on the inaugural QIPCO Champions Day in 2011, defeating stars like So You Think, Snow Fairy, Midday and Nathaniel, and after giving best only to Frankel in the race last year, he looks to have a fine chance of making two from three in Europe’s richest ten-furlong race a week on Saturday.
The seven-year-old gelding has always used the Prix Dollar at Longchamp as his warm-up race, winning it three times in the last four years, and while he only won by a length and three-quarters yesterday (last year he won it by nine), it could have been by a much wider margin if he had not relaxed when passing the first of Longchamp’s two winning posts which does tend to confuse some horses (and occasionally jockeys as well!)
His odds were slashed by the bookmakers for the £1.3m QIPCO Champion Stakes, which along with the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and the other three Group races will captivate the big crowd expected at Ascot for QIPCO British Champions Day on 19 October.
In the hands of Christophe Soumillon, Cirrus des Aigles beat the pretty consistent Mandour and while he will have far tougher opposition to conquer at Ascot, it was another big step in the right direction after what was thus far a disappointing season following a tendon injury in Hong Kong last December.
His trainer, Corine Barande-Barbe, said afterwards: "Now nobody doubts any more.
"I never doubted him. I’m so pleased.
"I knew he was able to win and he won more easily than I thought.
"Christophe told me that after the first [winning] post he relaxed like he always does here, otherwise he would have won by 12 lengths.
"He is in a good rhythm now.
"It took a very long time to come back to nearly his top and his top will be on 19 October at Ascot."