Sunday 18 February 2018

French veteran Cirrus Des Aigles steals the spotlight

Soumillon: Victory on Cirrus Des Aigles
Soumillon: Victory on Cirrus Des Aigles

POPULAR French veteran Cirrus Des Aigles turned in a masterclass from the front to gamely account for Olympic Glory in the Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp.

In what was billed as a clash between the alleged big two, the Richard Hannon-trained Olympic Glory could finish only fourth under Frankie Dettori.

Cirrus Des Aigles had defeated Arc winner Treve on his last start, but this time made virtually every yard of the running in the hands of Christophe Soumillon.

The Corine Barande-Barbe-trained eight-year-old was pressed by the revitalised Anodin, but Soumillon had far too much class beneath him and eased home inside the final 100 yards.

Pollyana finished third, while Olympic Glory was hard at work a couple of furlongs from home on his first try over nine furlongs and folded meekly late on.

Cirrus Des Aigles will now head to England for either the Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom or the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.

"I get up in the night to check that I'm not dreaming," Barande-Barbe said. "This was like a prep run for him. He got his fifth Group One and should now go to England – that will be either in 13 days' time at Epsom or on June 15 at Ascot."

Soumillon added: "I let him gallop the way he wanted to. He needs to feel that he dominates his opponents.

"He is a phenomenal horse and can go over so many different trips. He even goes in heavy ground over the mile."

Meanwhile, British challenger Evita Peron could finish only fourth in the German 1000 Guineas at Dusseldorf.

The Ralph Beckett-trained filly was given the chance to shine on the back of a solid second at Ascot, but she had no answer to the finishing kick of Ajaxana.

Press Association

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