Cirrus Des Aigles try’s to get back to winning ways today for the first time this year. The world’s best gelding with a rating of 131 lbs hasn’t fired yet this year. Recovering from ligament damage sustained in the winter he returned to the racecourse to run fifth behind Novellist beaten 4 1/2 L on his comeback run in the Grand Prix De Saint Cloud in June. He was again behind the same horse in the King George at Ascot in July where the deficit increased to 8 3/4 L. His trainer Corine Barande-Barbe then tried to rebuild his confidence dropping him in class in a Group 3 at Deauville in August where he still didn’t manage to get his head in front going down that margin to Petit Chevalier. His target remains the Champion Stakes in October but today will tell if that realistic.
He’s opposed by Nicolas Clement’s Now We Can a lightly raced four year old who is six from seven in racecourse starts. The best of these last time out in the Group 2 Grand Prix De Chantilly when he first steeped into pattern class at the beginning of June.
Andre Fabre has the Godolphin owned Penglai Pavilion who makes his first venture into group company. It’s quite a considerable step up on what he has done in the past but if his trainer thinks he’s ready then whose to argue.
Lady Cecil sends the only invader in the shape of First Mohican another whose lightly raced. The five year old son of Monsun is a winner of four from six having made a winning debut at Yarmouth in October 2010. He then didn’t see a racecourse for another two years but that didn’t stop him finding the winners enclosure at Redcar. He was a winner again first time out this year in May and in his only other run this year here at Deauville he finished third in a Group 3.
Of the others Tres Blue is in the mix on the back of winning a Group 3 here at the beginning of the month as is Very Nice Name who ran third in the Sheema Classic in March in Dubai. That form was not reproduced last time out in the King George where he was 21 L off Novellist.
The main plot here is about Cirrus and whether he retains the abilities that saw him be the best around bar Frankel. While disappointing he didn’t win the last confidence booster it will be much more so if he fails to do it this time. Surely retirement will loom. Hopefully that won’t be the case and what we’ll see today is a fully fit and completely recovered athlete who again come Champions Day will be ready to punch at the top of his game.
Recommendation : Cirrus Des Aigles 2/1 win