Posted by Andy at Bet1015.com on 31/07/2013
Highly-rated horse Cirrus Des Aigles is all set for another crack at the AIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot in October and this race has become the main aim for connections of the French gelding.
Corine Barande-Barbe's charge was last in action at Ascot on Saturday afternoon and in truth, it wasn't a memorable encounter as he was fourth in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes - which is one of the biggest races that Flat racing has to offer.
However, Barande-Barbe wasn't too disappointed as it was only his second run of the campaign and the fast ground was never really going to suit Currus Des Aigles. Fourth place wasn't the best connections could have hoped for, but the trainer is expecting bigger and better things from him in October.
Barande-Barbe said: "It was quite fast, which is not the easiest ground for Cirrus. The race was quick too. They broke the course record by two seconds and it was a bit hard for his second race back. He still needed it.
"He did well to get fourth place and will improve on that race, but the winner (Novellist) is a tremendous horse and the two three-year-olds in front of Cirrus (Trading Leather and Hillstar) were getting 12lb, are very good horses and improving.
"I think if he had two or more races he would have been nearer, but we don't regret it at all. He ran a good race and came back well. Everything is okay with him this morning."
"We plan to go back to England for the Champion Stakes I might look for an easy race to complete his preparation. The Champion Stakes is his main target."
The famous seven-year-old was a winner of the Champions Stakes back in 2011 in what was a superb run from the horse, so he does have the knowhow in this encounter and is sure to be one of the front-runners should he compete once again.
Last year, Cirrus Des Aigles came up against Frankel and although he was second, he got within one and three-quarter lengths of the best of all time, which is closer than most that went up against him.
Providing everything goes well, the Champions Stakes is the perfect encounter for this gelding to show just what he is capable of. The ground will be slower in October and we might just see Cirrus Des Aigles win this encounter for the second time in three years.