/ Racing

Cirrus Des Aigles lines up in Prix Ganay

Updated: Friday, 27 Apr 2012 16:50

Cirrus Des Aigles has yet to win at the very top level in his native France
Cirrus Des Aigles has yet to win at the very top level in his native France

Corine Barande-Barbe still has bridges to cross with the durable Cirrus Des Aigles - including winning a Group One in her home country - and has set her sights on glory in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp on Sunday.

Despite winning the Champion Stakes at Ascot last season and the Dubai Sheema Classic last month, the six-year-old gelding has a series of near-misses to his name in the top races at home.

Third in the corresponding race to Planteur 12 months ago, he went on to chase home Goldikova in the Prix d'Ispahan before his winning run started.

"He came back from Dubai very well and we tried to give him a few quiet weeks but after just one week he wanted to get back to work," said Barande-Barbe.

"He's very well. He won't be disturbed at all by the rain that we've had. He's already won in very deep ground.

"One of the challenges we have left with this horse is that we have not yet won a Group one in France with him.

"It is a consistent field, all the runners are very good.

"Usually in the Prix Ganay you get horses having their first run as a four-year-old, like Reliable Man is, but this year some have run in Dubai or in France already.

"It is usually an interesting competition between the older horses and the younger horses.

"As he is a gelding there are only three Group Ones at our distance we can run in (in France). The Prix Ganay, the Prix d'Ispahan and the Grand Prix at Saint-Cloud.

"He'll probably go to Royal Ascot for the Prince of Wales's Stakes and back for the King George and the Champion Stakes."

Michael Bell's jet-setter Wigmore Hall is off on his travels again after another good run in Dubai where he finished fourth in the Duty Free.

"He's been our stable star for the last couple of years," said Bell.

"He likes to travel, thankfully. He loves getting on a horse box and doesn't mind getting on a plane. I hope he runs his usual solid race.

"There are two very good horses in there but it's very good prize money so we thought we'd have a go.

"It will be interesting to see how he copes with the ground, we think he'll go on it.

"When Jamie Spencer rode him in Dubai he said the ground was too quick, although this is the other extreme.

"I think he'll go on it, he won a conditions race at Newmarket when there was plenty of cut a few years back."

Hayley Turner comes in for the ride but feels the absence of So You Think may work against her mount.

"I saw So You Think was in the entries, but he's not running now, which is a shame in a way as he would have had a pacemaker, which would have really helped Wigmore Hall," Turner told her Racing UK blog.

"Those familiar with the horse will know he doesn't break from the stalls that well so has to be dropped in and needs a strong pace to make his challenge.

"He ran a solid race to come fourth behind Cityscape in Dubai, especially when you consider he was drawn widest of all the runners. He was a little unlucky in that respect although I don't think anyone would have got close to the winner that day."

Prix du Jockey Club winner Reliable Man and Alain de Royer-Dupre's Giofra are also in the six-runner field.

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