A Third Dollar for Cirrus Des Aigles
Thought earlier this year to have his best days behind him, Cirrus Des Aigles showed he still had his competitive fire when winning the Qatar Prix Dollar (Fr-II) for the third time Oct. 5 at Longchamp.
The Dollar anchored four group II races at the Parisian racecourse that jump-started Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) weekend.
After dropping his first four starts this season, the 7-year-old Even Top gelding captured the La Coupe de Maisons-Laffitte (Fr-III) Sept. 20 and kept on going to defeat Mandour by 1 3/4 lengths in the Dollar. He cruised from midfield to take charge with less than a quarter-mile to run and coasted to a comfortable win as the 7-5 favorite under Christophe Soumillon.
He was timed in 2:02.83 for 1,950 meters (about 1 1/4 miles).
Trained at Chantilly by Corine Barande-Barbe, Cirrus Des Aigles won the Dollar in 2010 and in 2012. He finished second in the 2011 edition before defeating So You Think and Snow Fairy in the inaugural QIPCO Champion Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot and was honored with the Cartier Award as Europe's champion older male.
Winner in 2012 of the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I), he finished second to Frankel in last year's Champion Stakes to close the season, but was lackluster in beginning his 2013 campaign.
With a record third Dollar in the history book, Cirrus Des Aigles is now on target for the Champion Stakes Oct. 19. He is the 3-1 favorite with bookmaker Sky Bet.
"I never doubted him," Barande-Barbe told England's Press Association after the Dollar. "He was nearly at his best today, and he will be at his best on the 19th (of October)."
The second-highest rated horse in the world last year, Cirrus Des Aigles is owned by Jean-Claude-Alain Dupouy. He is out of the Septieme Ciel mare Taille de Guepe.
Chalnetta edged Ebiyza by a head in the Qatar Prix Royallieu for fillies and mares but was disqualified to second for bumping Ebiyza near the finish line. Ebiyza was elevated to first place.
Time for the 2,500 meters (about 1 9/16 miles) was 2:44.17.
A 3-year-old Rock of Gibraltar filly, Ebiyza finished third in the Prix Joubert Sept. 16 at Saint-Cloud in her stakes debut before her Royallieu breakthrough for owner-breeder the Aga Khan, who also won the Qatar Prix Chaudenay earlier on the card with Valirann.
Yellow and Green, the 14-5 favorite with Racing Post, finished sixth in the nine-horse field for the Royallieu.
Ebiyza is out of the winning Selkirk mare Elbalista from the family of group I winner Estimate, Enzeli, and Edabiya.
Bryan Lyman's Longchamp specialist Pollyana prevailed in a thriller in the Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein, powering from midpack and getting up late to deny 23-1 longshot Pinturicchio by a short neck.
Multiple group winner Gregorian, the 9-2 favorite, never threatened in an eighth-place finish.
The win marked the first group victory for Pollyana, a 4-year-old Whipper filly, who notched her fifth win from seven starts at the Parisian racecourse. Ridden by Flavien Prat for trainer Didier Prud'Homme, she covered 1,600 meters (about one mile) in 1:40.24 for her eighth win in 18 career starts.
Pollyana, who was bred in Ireland by Mesnil Investments Ltd. and Carrigbeg Stud, is out of the winning Unfuwain mare Shamah.
Even-money favorite Valirann struck for a fourth consecutive win in capturing the Qatar Prix Chaudenay by a half-length. His victory was the second group win on the card for Soumillon, who has the mount on favorite Orfevre in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) Oct. 6 at Longchamp.
The Aga Khan's 3-year-old Nayef colt, a half brother to 2012 Prix de Diane (Fr-I, French Oaks) winner Valyra, overtook front-runner Lucky Look with 120 yards to run and repelled a challenge from Montclair to win the 3,000-meter (about 1 7/8-mile) race in 3:22.68.
Lucky Look held on for third, a short head behind Montclair.
Trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, Valirann entered off a neck win over Lucky Look in the Prix de Lutece (Fr-II) for his first group triumph Sept. 8 at Longchamp.
French-bred Valirann is out of French stakes winner Valima, by Linamix.
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