Cirrus Des Aigles has returned to the winner’s enclosure for the first time this year with victory in the La Coupe de Maisons-Laffitte.
Sent swiftly to the front by Christophe Soumillon, the Corine Barande-Barbe-trained gelding set just a steady pace through the early stages before being asked a few questions by Smoking Sun.
The pair went head-to-head from a furlong and a half (300m) out but Soumillon’s mount asserted in the closing stages to win from Valley Jem with Smoking Sun eventually third.
Now a seven-year-old, Cirrus Des Aigles was having his 50th career outing and recorded his 17th win, three of those at Group One level.
Paddy Power halved him in price to 7-1 for the Champion Stakes at Ascot, a race he won in 2011.
Barande-Barbe was delighted to see her stable star return to winning form and is now planning another crack at the Prix Dollar on Arc weekend, a race he has won twice, before heading to Ascot for the Champion Stakes on October 19.
“It was a very good performance, he ran very well and I’m very happy with him,” Barande-Barbe said.
“It’s nice to see him back winning again.
“I think he will go for the Prix Dollar on Arc weekend and then on to Ascot for the Champion Stakes.
“Beyond that, I don’t know what we will do – he will tell us and we will see what happens.”