Cirrus Des Aigles set to bypass Epsom

Cirrus Des Aigles is unlikely to defend his crown in the Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom after breaking a shoe at Longchamp on Sunday.

Corine Barande-Barbe’s multiple Group One winner finished last of four in Paris as the Freddy Head-trained Solow ran out a brilliant winner of the Prix d’Ispahan, but it was soon discovered the veteran had broken his off-fore shoe in half.

While the nine-year-old has not suffered any serious damage, Barande-Barbe is keen to bypass Epsom and instead target her pride and joy at the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on June 28.

Barande-Barbe said: “He seems fine this morning. We put new shoes on him and he is walking OK.

“I am disappointed, not in the horse but disappointed with the problem.

“Christophe (Soumillon) said he was flying down to the starting gate and he was very confident, but he said after half a furlong he didn’t feel right. I think it must have happened just after the start.

“Cirrus was very prudent and careful during the race and it is almost as though he didn’t run.

“I’m not keen on going back for the Coronation Cup. Last year he had the accident there, he is a very clever horse and I don’t want to bother him.

“There is not much rain forecast either, so I don’t think he will go to Epsom, but it is up the owner.

“I think he will probably go for the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. It is a Group One in France he can run in and he has not won it before, so it would be nice to do it.

“Otherwise we have the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, but I think when the ground is quicker, he is better going over the longer distance (mile and a half) at Saint-Cloud.”

Meanwhile Ryan Moore is the first choice rider for Australian challenger Shamal Wind at Royal Ascot.

Robert Smerdon’s charge was last seen when landing a first Group One success at Caulfield in February and is on course to tackle the King’s Stand Stakes in Berkshire next month.

While Moore is Smerdon’s preferred option for the Dubawi mare, top Australian jockey Damien Oliver is poised to take over should Moore be required to ride for Aidan O’Brien.

Oliver partnered Shamal Wind in her final trail at Cranbourne on Monday, with the five-year-old set to fly to Britain on June 3.

“Ryan Moore is the jockey of choice and he has said if he’s not required by Coolmore, then he’ll ride her,” Smerdon said. It was too far out for him to know whether Coolmore require him or not. Damien is going to be at Ascot to ride Wandjina, so he put his hand up and said if Ryan’s not available he’ll do the job.

“So that was the point of this morning’s exercise that he get a feel for her, he’s never ridden her before, he’s now been on her back under a race-day scenario and he might get the chance to jump on her over there as well.

“If we don’t get Ryan Moore, it’ll be Damien.”

Gailo Chop could be French trainer Antoine de Watrigant’s first runner at Royal Ascot following his excellent effort in the Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp on Sunday.

The four-year-old could take on the likes of Al Kazeem and Free Eagle in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes after he ran Freddy Head’s top-class Solow – also Royal Ascot-bound for the Queen Anne Stakes – to a length and a half.

It was Gailo Chop’s first start since he won the Group Three Guillaume d’Ornano at Deauville in August, and would be the trainer’s first Royal Ascot runner.


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