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Cirrus Des Aigles and Olympic Glory clash in intriguing Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp

Updated: Friday, 23 May 2014 19:31 | Comments

Cirrus Des Aigles (far side) is bidding for a remarkable 12th win at Longchamp
Cirrus Des Aigles (far side) is bidding for a remarkable 12th win at Longchamp

Corine Barande-Barbe is relishing the prospect of seeing Cirrus Des Aigles lock horns with Olympic Glory in what promises to be an enthralling Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp on Sunday.

Cirrus Des Aigles proved his powers remain as potent at ever at the age of eight when inflicting a first defeat on last year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Treve in last month's Prix Ganay in Paris.

He comes back in trip to an extended nine furlongs in this weekend's French feature, but Barande-Barbe is confident he will put it up to the Richard Hannon-trained Olympic Glory, who turns out just eight days after his Lockinge triumph at Newbury.

"We decided to run him in this as he is so well and fresh, he's better off running than galloping at home," said Barande-Barbe.

"It has been raining regularly through the week so even though this trip is a little short of his best, it puts a little more emphasis on his stamina.

"I heard that Olympic Glory was coming earlier in the week, but that has no effect on us. He only ran last week.

"We beat Treve, who everyone said was the best horse in Europe, so we are not going to be afraid of any horse."

Olympic Glory certainly looked the part on fast ground in Berkshire last weekend and the return to more testing terrain is unlikely to faze him judged on the way he ploughed through the Ascot mud in last year's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions Day.

Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Al Shaqab Racing, said: "Cirrus Des Aigles will obviously be a tough nut to crack, but this is very much in his range.

"On ratings, he is way superior than the rest of them and the trip should suit Olympic Glory very well indeed.

"He came out of Newbury bucking, kicking and bouncing, which is always a pleasing thing to see.

"Combined with the well-being of the horse and looking at the race itself, we felt this is the way to go with him."

This will be a first try at a distance beyond a mile for Olympic Glory, but that is not a concern for his trainer.

Hannon told his website, www.richardhannonracing.co.uk: "We wouldn't normally run a top horse back so quick, but he thrives on his racing and he bounced back so well after Newbury.

"Frankie has always maintained that he would get further than a mile, so the extra furlong is not a worry, nor is the prospect of softer ground."

Cirrus Des Aigles and Olympic Glory are the two star names in a six-strong field, with Peter Schiergen's German raider Neatico, Freddy Head's Anodin, the John Hammond-trained Pollyana and Alex Pantall's Matorio completing the line-up.

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