Aigles out to show Sunday best

Cirrus Des Aigles has another opportunity to demonstrate his remarkable versatility in tomorrow’s Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp.

Corine Barande-Barbe’s humbly-bred gelding has now firmly established himself as one of the sport’s top competitors across the world, winning last year’s Champion Stakes and going on to land the Dubai Sheema Classic.

He returned to France to take the Group One Prix Ganay, over a mile and three furlongs on heavy ground, by eight lengths and now drops back to just over nine furlongs of the Bois de Boulogne.

Cirrus Des Aigles, who was beaten just a quarter of a length by the outstanding Goldikova in last year’s Ispahan, faces a few familiar faces.

These include Planteur, who defeated him in the previous year’s Ganay and finished third in the Dubai World Cup on his first start for Newmarket trainer Marco Botti.

Last year’s French Derby winner Reliable Man, who was third in the Ganay, and Andre Fabre’s filly Golden Lilac, winner of the French Guineas and Oaks at three, are also lining up along with David O’Meara’s Sandown Mile winner Penitent.

“He seems well and the plan is to run on Sunday,” said Barande-Barbe. “It’s going to be a difficult race – there are some horses from the big stables coming back for their first run, as well as Planteur and Reliable Man — but he ran well in the race last year.”

Looking beyond this task, the trainer said: “I have not confirmed him for the Coronation Cup and he would not run next Saturday if he ran on Sunday. He could go to Royal Ascot after this.”

Cirrus Des Aigles has been installed at 8-11 by Paddy Power over 9-2 Planteur.

Of Planteur, Botti said: “I’m very happy with him and he seems in good order.

“The ground is not too quick and that seems fine for Planteur. It’s a tough Group One, but he ran a very solid race to finish third in the Dubai World Cup and he deserves to run.”

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