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By Simon Jackson, London24’s horse racing correspondent
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Horse Talk: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news
QIPCO Champion Stakes winner Cirrus Des Aigles bids to complete the second leg of a lucrative double at Ascot by landing the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The six-year-old, trained by Corine Barande-Barbe at Chantilly, last season won the inaugural running of the £1.3million showpiece race on Champions Day and is one of 37 entered for the Betfair sponsored £1m King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday July 21.
Cirrus Des Aigles, already a winner of more than £3.7m in prize money, has been in tremendous form this season, narrowly winning the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March. He followed up with an eight length victory in the Group 1 Prix Ganay at Longchamp in April, before finishing a three quarters of a length second to Golden Lilac in the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan over nine furlongs at Longchamp on May 27.
“We plan to run Cirrus Des Aigles in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes,” Barande-Barbe said. “He will either run in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes or the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud beforehand. I want to see what is entered in both races before making a decision, but there will be good horses in both races.
“He has been in very good form since the Prix d’Ispahan. I wasn’t disappointed he got beaten at Longchamp because we had to make the running. In hindsight, we probably should have gone a faster pace because Golden Lilac was having her first start of the year and we know Cirrus Des Aigles has more stamina than her.
“It’s hard because there is no pace in French racing and the horse had run over 12 furlongs in Dubai and then 10 and a half in the Prix Ganay after that, so how the race panned out was not in his favour.
“The key to him is a fast pace, which makes him perform better, but he doesn’t get that in France. He turned six on May 8, but he still appears to be improving and growing, so hopefully he will race for another couple of years.
“He is also in the Irish Champion Stakes and QIPCO Champion Stakes.”