Elite runners Cirrus des Aigles and Olympic Glory make for an exciting clash in a compact field of six for the Prix d'Ispahan (Fr-I) May 25 at Longchamp.
The race is one of two group I events on the card, joining the Pour Moi Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary for 3-year-old fillies.
After finishing a good second to Gentildonna in the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) March 29 in his season debut, French-based 8-year-old Cirrus des Aigles served it up to Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) winner Treve in the Prix Ganay (Fr-I) April 24 at Longchamp.
The son of Even Top, trained by Corine Barande-Barbe for owner Jean Claude-Alain Dupouy, makes his third appearance in the Prix d'Ispahan. He was second by a neck to Goldikova in 2011 and unplaced behind Golden Lilac in 2012. Cirrus des Aigles has a formidable 19-20-6 record from 56 races.
Al Shaqab Racing's Olympic Glory makes a quick turnaround after his 2 1/4-length triumph at Newbury in the May 17 JLT Lockinge Stakes (Eng-I), his first start in more than six months since finishing ninth in the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).
"We wouldn't normally run a top horse back so quick," trainer Richard Hannon said on his website, "but he thrives on his racing and he bounced back so well after Newbury."
Olympic Glory stretches out beyond a mile for the first time in the 1,850-meter (about 1 1/8-mile) trip and will be ridden by Frankie Dettori.
"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."
Prior to the Breeders' Cup, the son of Choisir scored a 3 1/4-length triumph in the QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I) Oct. 19 at Ascot. His record stands at 7-3-0 from 12 career starts.
The Prix Saint-Alary drew three stakes winners among eight entrants, each seeking to earn a first group I win.
The Aga Khan's Sea The Stars filly Vazira is perfect in two career starts and went from debut winner to group III victress in the Prix Vanteaux April 27 for trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre.
Ecurie Pandora Racing's Lady Penko, by Archipenko, bids for a third win from four starts and enters off a triumph in her stakes debut in the Prix Caravelle-Haras des Granges April 26.
Guy Pariente's homebred Stormyra, by Stormy River, has a 1-1-3 record from eight starts that includes her victory in the Prix La Camargo April 15 at Saint-Cloud, and two group III-placings among four stakes-placings.
Also entered is We Are, a homebred Dansili filly campaigned by Pennsylvania-based George Strawbridge. She is unbeaten in both career starts and making her stakes debut.
Prix d'Ispahan (Fr-I), 1,850 meters (about 1 1/8 miles), 4-year-olds and older, turf
PP. No. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1 2 Olympic Glory, F. Dettori, 128, R. Hannon
2 1 Cirrus des Aigles, C. Soumillon, 128, C. Barande-Barbe
3 6 Neatico, T. Thulliez, 128, P. Schiergen
4 3 Anodin, O. Peslier, 128, F. Head
5 4 Pollyana, F. Lefebvre, 125, J. E. Hammond
6 5 Mataorio, F. Veron, 125, H. A. Pantall
Pour Moi Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary (Fr-I), 3-year-olds, fillies, 2,000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) turf
PP. No. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1 6 Vazira, C. Soumillon, A. Royer-Dupre
2 8 Bereni Ka, T. Thulliez, Y. Gourraud
3 1 Lady Penko, S. Pasquier, C. Delcher-Sanchez
4 3 Goldy Espony, F. Veron, H. A. Pantall
5 4 Stormyra, no rider, J. P. Gallorini
6 7 Green Speed, A. Badel, M. Bollack-Badel
7 5 We Are, T. Jarnet, F. Head
8 2 Chocolatier, C. P. Lemaire, M. Delzangles
All carry 126 pounds.