Cirrus Des Aigles can bounce back from narrow defeat in Hong Kong


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The Independent Online

Trainer Corine Barande-Barbe is in no rush to decide whether Cirrus Des Aigles will head to the Far East later this year following another fantastic run in defeat in Saturday’s Qipco Champion Stakes.

Winner of the race in 2011 and second behind the mighty Frankel 12 months later, the seven-year-old was sent off favourite to regain his Ascot crown, having looked right back to his best in the Prix Dollar at Longchamp.

While he came up short, going down by a neck to the talented but fragile Farhh, Cirrus Des Aigles emerged with his reputation intact and connections are now considering a tilt at the Hong Kong Cup on 8 December.

Barande-Barbe said: “He has one or two cuts on his leg, which probably happened at the moment he got a bit bumped, but they don’t seem too heavy. It was another great performance from him. Maybe if he hadn’t been bumped he could have started his run a bit earlier, but who knows what would have happened? He will be entered for the Hong Kong Cup  tomorrow and we will let him come back from Ascot and see how he is.”

Richard Hannon’s Olympic Glory may aim to add to his impressive Queen Elizabeth II Stakes victory in America next month. The three-year-old colt spreadeagled his rivals in what had looked a competitive race.

While in the immediate aftermath of the race it was mooted that Olympic Glory was finished for the season, Richard Hannon Jnr, assistant trainer to his father, has now raised the possibility of a trip to the Breeders’ Cup.

 Connections of Maxios feel the testing conditions contributed to the French raider’s dismal display after the son of Monsun trailed home in eighth position, beaten 26 lengths by Olympic Glory, who had previously been comfortably behind Maxios in the Prix du Moulin.

Alan Cooper, racing manager for owners the Niarchos family, said: “He’s on his way home and we’ll obviously have him checked over once he arrives to see if there is anything amiss. At the moment there is nothing obvious, but Stéphane [Pasquier] said he wasn’t happy on the track even going down to the start. It was really testing.”