Trainer Corine Barande-Barbe has warned Cirrus Des Aigles is not certain to head to this year’s Dubai Carnival as he continues to recover from injury.
The seven-year-old kicked off an excellent campaign by winning the Dubai Sheema Classic on World Cup night last March, going on to claim the Prix Ganay and the Prix Dollar at Longchamp before finding only Frankel too strong when defending his crown in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Cirrus Des Aigles then travelled to the Far East to contest the Hong Kong Cup but had to be withdrawn after suffering a ligament injury and his trainer is unsure whether he will be ready for a return to Dubai.
The gelding is officially the highest-rated Flat horse in training, following Frankel’s retirement.
“Everything is all right. We are keeping things quiet with him and his injury is getting better and better all the time,” said Barande-Barbe.
“He is not ready yet, but hopefully it will not be too long. He has been given time in Chantilly and has been out in the snow.
“I don’t know yet whether he will go to Dubai this year. I haven’t spoken with his owner. I’m not sure about it.
“I don’t want to hurry him to get there, so we will see. Nothing is definite.”
Barande-Barbe did confirm, however, British racegoers are likely to get another chance to see Cirrus Des Aigles this year, with a trip to Royal Ascot and a bid to regain his Champion Stakes title on the agenda.
“Royal Ascot is a target for him and hopefully the Champion Stakes again. There is no Frankel this year, so hopefully it is his race,” said the French handler.