Cirrus Des Aigles will race on this year, said trainer Corine Barande-Barbe.
There had been speculation the venerable 10-year-old would be retired after he struggled in the Hong Kong Vase in December, but Barande-Barbe has seen enough on her Chantilly gallops to suggest he is still in love with the game.
Cirrus Des Aigles’ first objective could be the Sheema Classic at Meydan in March — a race he won in 2012 and in which he finished second two years ago. Barande-Barbe said: “We let him have a little holiday when he came back from Hong Kong, but he is cantering again and there is no stopping him.
“He will be entered in the Sheema Classic — it is a race that suits him very well, I think — and if he shows us he is very well, we will go.
“After that he will run in the Prix Ganay in the spring, and then we will see.
“We may come back to England, but that is a long way off.
“At this stage, nothing is closed.”
Barande-Barbe accepts the decision to keep Cirrus Des Aigles in training will be criticised in some quarters.
She said: “Despite what everyone says, I don’t care.
“Some people, remember, said he should have been retired in September 2011 and then he went to Ascot and won the Champion Stakes.
“I always have in my mind he is now 10 years old, and as soon as he looks unhappy we will stop with him.
“I will always, always try to do my best for the horse and I hope everyone knows that.”
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