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Barande-Barbe calls time on career of Cirrus des Aigles

29 Mar 2016

Globetrotting star of the QIPCO British Champions Series has been retired after ligament problem is discovered

Cirrus des Aigles routs his rivals to win the 2014 Investec Coronation Cup. Image courtesy of Racingfotos.com.

Cirrus Des Aigles, whose remarkable career included two triumphs in the QIPCO British Champions Series, has run his final race.

Corine Barande-Barbe, trainer of the globetrotting ten-year-old, announced his retirement on Monday evening after revealing that her stable flagbearer had a ligament problem.

Disappointment that the hugely popular gelding, who won 22 of his 67 races, will not be seen in action again will be tempered by the fact that he has bowed out in one piece.

“He has been in great condition and very well, but I found that in his work for racing he was holding himself back a little so we checked his legs," Barande-Barbe said.

“We couldn’t see anything so we took X-rays and found a little calcification in a ligament that could be dangerous if he put in 100 per cent. In a race, it could break.

“We decided with the owner not to take such a risk and put the horse in danger, so we have decided to retire him while he is sound and happy."

The Chantilly-based handler added: "He doesn’t suffer. He can trot, he can gallop, but we don’t want him to go to his maximum as it would be dangerous.

“He will stay with me for at least two months. We have to wind him down as he was working to go racing. He will do something with Christophe Soumillon [his regular rider) when he retires. He wants to be a part of the horse’s retirement.”

Cirrus Des Aigles showed an incredible appetite for racing and earned his connections more than £6 million in prize money . He became a standing dish in big middle-distance races all over the world – running with distinction in France, Britain, Ireland, Japan, Dubai and Hong Kong.

Even last year, as a nine-year-old, he was able to win at the highest level; beating Al Kazeem in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp. It was his third win in that ten-furlong feature.

He was among the stars of the inaugural 2011 QIPCO British Champions Series, beating a star-studded field in the QIPCO Champion Stakes. The next four home were So You Think, Snow Fairy, Midday and Nathaniel.

That dazzling quintet ended up winning 31 Group 1 races between them.

In the following year’s renewal he got to within a length and three quarters of the mighty Frankel. He was also runner-up in the 2013 running before returning to British shores in 2014 to land the Investec Coronation Cup.

When asked to pick out his career highlights, Barande-Barbe said: “Maybe his first Group One at Ascot and when he beat Treve in France. Also when he won on that magic night in Dubai [in the Dubai Sheema Classic in 2012]. He did so much."