x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Injury could rule Cirrus Des Aigles out of Dubai Classic defence

The highly-rated thoroughbred has not raced since losing to Frankel at the Champion Stakes last year and missed the Hong Kong Cup through injury, putting the gelding's appearance in Dubai in March at risk.

Olivier Peslier rides Cirrus Des Aigles to victory in the Qatar Prix Dollar at Longchamp.
Olivier Peslier rides Cirrus Des Aigles to victory in the Qatar Prix Dollar at Longchamp.

Cirrus Des Aigles could miss his defence of the Dubai Sheema Classic in March in favour of a European campaign.

The highest-rated thoroughbred in training has not raced since finding Frankel too good in the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October and was scratched from the Hong Kong Cup after picking up a tendon injury last month.

The seven year old put in one of the performances of Dubai World Cup night when holding off St Nicholas Abbey in March. He went on to secure victories in the Group 1 Prix Ganay as well as the Prix Dollar at Longchamp.

Corine Barande-Barbe insisted in Hong Kong that the injury to her charge was a minor one and although the trainer did nothing yesterday to dispel that notion, the gelding's participation in Dubai remains uncertain.

"Everything is all right. We are keeping things quiet with him and his injury is getting better all the time," Barande-Barbe said.

"He is not ready yet, but hopefully it will not be too long. He has been given time in Chantilly and has been out in the snow.

"I don't know yet whether he will go to Dubai this year. I haven't spoken with his owner.

"I don't want to hurry him to get there, so nothing is definite."

Cirrus Des Aigles' defeat in the Champion Stakes was rated as the equal to his performances in the Ganay and the Dollar in the final international classifications and Barande-Barbe was hopeful her charge could prevail in the 10-furlong contest in October.

"Royal Ascot is a target for him and hopefully the Champion Stakes again," she added.

"There is no Frankel this year, so hopefully it is his race."

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE and Geoffrey Riddle @louchepunter