French star Cirrus Des Aigles has claimed his first Group One prize in his homeland with an impressive display in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp.
Corine Barande-Barbe’s pride and joy beat So You Think to land last year’s Champion Stakes at Ascot and he collected his second top-level victory in last month’s Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.
Coming back to a mile-and-a-quarter (2000m) from a mile-and-a-half on his return to the European scene on Sunday, the six-year-old gelding was soon in front under Olivier Peslier with the jockey happy to let his mount stride on.
Cirrus Des Aigles upped the tempo heading into the straight and it was clear his rivals were struggling to keep up.
While the remaining riders got to work, Peslier was sitting pretty on the 8-13 favourite and pushed him clear for an authoritative success.
Alain de Royer-Dupre’s Giofra finished best of the rest, with Reliable Man third and Michael Bell’s British raider Wigmore Hall fourth under Hayley Turner.
“We are very proud of him – he is a magic horse,” Barande-Barne said.
“We have been waiting for that (first Group One in France) for a long time and he won so easily.
“Olivier gave him a very good ride. Now the horse knows more about racing, you can just let him do what he wants.”
Cirrus Des Aigles could return to Britain in coming weeks with the Coronation Cup at Epsom and the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot possible options before he defends his Champion Stakes crown.